Forgotten Persecution

The media generally ignores any persecution unless done by a regime that appears friendly to the Americans. If it is a pro-democracy movement suppressed in Cuba or North Korea or Iran — forget it. Another group that is regularly targetted is the Christian missionary movement in Indonesia. I get updates regularly on the subject. Please read the email in the extended entry about youths being shot while singing Christmas Carols.

Then, for more information, go to International Christian Concern.

Youths Shot while singing Christmas Carols

Poso, Joko Harmono, Dec 6, 2003

After weeks of increasing violence and multiple threats and pamphlets calling for the extermination of the Christian community, and the killing of Christians Ïwhenever and where ever you find themÓ, some sanity seemed to be returning to Poso City.

The Government had significantly increased security, made commitments to crack down on anyone with weapons and brought in extra troops to guard 46 locations where attacks might occur. In the light of this increased security and promises of Government determination, once more the Christian community felt that there might be light at the end of the tunnel. With all these extra troops in the streets, at street corners and in specific risk areas an air of safety began to pervade the atmosphere.

At least that was the case until 8.15 pm last night.

In the heart of the city of Poso in Gatot Subroto Street, Kasintuwu, only 150 meters from a police post and barracks, two armed men riding a motorcycle, carrying a military-style pistol shot at 6 youths playing a guitar and singing Christmas carols. The youths were sitting out the front of the Indonesian Christian Church (GKI), formerly the Poso AOG Church, singing Christmas carols together. Two of the youths were Pentecostals (GPdI), and four were from the Reformed Church (GKST).

As an expression of their commitment to friendship, unity and of being one in Christ, they wanted to spend this time together worshipping the Savior. In Indonesia, Christmas is celebrated through the whole month of December, and these youths, unlike some other youths in the community who would prefer to be gambling or drinking, they just wanted to be together to rejoice in the birth of the Savior, but the reverberation of shots in the dark abruptly halted their rejoicing. It was the third such attack in this vicinity in the last several months.

The incident occurred with six bullets being fired in quick succession at the six youths from a distance of only 2 meters. Four of the bullets whizzed past in the dark narrowly missing four of the youths, while the other two of them were hit and wounded.

A testimony of the miraculous survival by the grace of God of these six youths, Andy Lapian, 16, Yudi Fan Dewu, 16, Hidayat Guru, 20, Fifi Abram, 19, Fifien Rumapar, 16, and Novita, 12, was shared in Church today. They believe that Christmas has come early for them and they have been given the best gift of all, the gift of life.

The two wounded youths were Hidayat Guru who was shot in the wrist, and Fifien Rumapar who was shot in the calf. Four of the youths scattered in different directions as the shots were fired seeking refuge from these terrorists. Hidayat and Fifien lay motionless on the ground and the terrorists fled on their motorcycle. Hidayat and Fifien were taken to the Poso District Hospital for emergency treatment but were quickly taken home by their families.

ÏThe Christians here fear for the safety of those who overnight in the Poso hospital,Ó said one Poso resident, adding that Ïthere have been too many mysterious deaths of Christians in that hospital who only had minor wounds.Ó One witness, a retired policeman, Mr. Fan Dewu, the uncle of Yudi, who heard the shots and being familiar with the sound of weapons said, ÏThe shots sounded like the shots fired from a Colt 45 pistol.Ó
In response to this blatant challenge by these terrorists to the authorities that they can act where ever they like and whenever they like, another 500 military men are on their way to Poso.