Sectarian violence in Indonesia fails to quell Christians.

By August 6, 2004

Indonesia (MNN)–Violence against Christians continues along Indonesia’s shores, despite the government’s attempt to downplay ‘jihad’.

Indonesian President Megawati Soukarnoputri has played down the extent of religious strife in the South East Asian country. There were no genuine “religious” tensions, she said in a meeting with a German church leader in
Jakarta.

However, an Indonesian Protestant minister was shot and killed during an evening worship service on July 18 when two unidentified gunmen sprayed her
congregation with automatic-rifle fire.

Further, The Pakistani Christian Post reports an incident on August 4th, when 80 to 100 well-armed jihad militiamen arrived in speedboats at the coastal village of Matako.

At least seven people were shot and wounded (including five women) and four others remain missing. The Pentecostal Church, the Presbyterian Church, and 27 houses were burned to the ground.

IN Network’s Rody Rodeheaver says national believers they’re working with are watching the situation for more than safety reasons. “Sometimes, the harvest is even more effective during these periods of upheaval. No one wants these periods of upheaval, but God is capable of working, in spite of it. It’s an awful thing, this sectarian violence, because it tears at the very fabric of countries.”

Rodeheaver says their work with the seminary continues because the nationals are intent. “The reason we’re working with a seminary in that country is because we believe that there may come a time when there will be no ability to bring influence in from other places, from the ‘West’, so to speak, and that the Indonesians themselves will have to carry the cross and represent what God is doing there.”

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