Religious killings surge in Indonesia on the Bali anniversary.

By October 29, 2003

Indonesia (MNN)–It’s an ominous anniversary–one year since the Bali bombing timed with the beginning of Ramadan, the Islamic month of prayer and fasting.

The combination makes for a deadly time for Christians in Indonesia. Worse, there are growing reports that the group responsible for targeting believers, Jemaah Islamiyah, is reforming.

The tingle of alarm is growing amongst evangelical circles, with reports of a massacre two weeks ago, and a shooting on Monday, October 27th. All these events are centralizing in Poso, Sulawesi.

Voice of the Martyrs’ Todd Nettleton expresses his concerns. “Apparently, there’s some tradition among Muslims in Indonesia to use the month of Ramadan as a time to attack Christians. Indonesia is the most populous Muslim nation in the world, (and) there is a large segment of radical Muslims within Indonesian society.”

Nettleton expects the Muslim persecution of Christians to continue. He says it’s due in part because, “it’s a very difficult country to govern because it’s so spread out. There’s over three thousand inhabited islands within the country of Indonesia. Obviously, it’s very difficult to try to keep an eye on all those islands at the same time, so it’s an easy country for bad elements within the society to get together and try to make trouble. i think we’re seeing that.”

He urges prayer. “As Christians live out their faith and their trust in Jesus Christ amidst these attacks, amidst these difficult times, I think Muslims and others who are watching say, ‘What is different about this person? How are they able to function in this situation?’ And so, that also opens doors for the sharing of the Gospel.”

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