By Mike Bouwer, BosNewsLife Special Correspondent

JAKARTA, INDONESIA (BosNewsLife) — Hundreds of Muslim militants surrounded and attacked a Protestant church in Indonesia’s province of West Java Sunday, August 8, injuring at least a dozen Christians including a pastor, Christians said. 

The mob first surrounded and later attacked worshippers of the Batak Christian Protestant Church in West Java while they were holding an open air service  and despite the presence of 300 police sent to “protect” the congregation, according to witnesses. Among the injured was the pastor, Luspida Simanjunta.

This is the fifth reported attack on the church which has been forced to meet in an open field following a dispute with local authorities, Christians said.

In 1998, the congregation purchased a plot of land and began to construct a church there after receving the necessary consent from 200 residents and local officials.

In 2000, a 500-strong mob reportedly burned down the partially completed church building. Following the incident the church purchased a house to use as a church facility and re-submitted a formal application to construct another building. The application remained unanswered for over a year as Islamic fundamentalist groups stepped up their protests against the congregation, church officials said.


When the application to build the church was officially turned down in 2009, authorities reportedly sealed the temporary church facility but granted permission to hold services in the open field Sunday’s attack took place. 

Judianto Simanjuntak, legal counsel for the church, said the group planned to hold their next Sunday service in front of the State Palace. “By doing this they hope to seek the protection of the government of their right to hold Christian services in West Java,” Simanjuntak said.

Islamists involved in the attack have defended their actions saying Christians were provoking violence by “trying to convert” Muslims. They cited an internet report that a local Christian charity, the Mahanaim Foundation, recently conducted a mass baptism. However, this was refuted by the Foundation who said the meeting was in connection with their outreach program for the poor.

The Bekasi Police chief Iman Sugianto blamed the victims for the attack. “We have warned the congregation not to hold their services in the area, because residents do not want them to do so, but they did not follow our instructions,” Iman told the Jakarta Post.


Tensions are high in the region following a Muslim congress held in June where it was decided to unite against the “Christianization” in the area.

Some 86 percent, or about 200 million, of Indonesia’s population identify as Muslims, making it the world’s largest Muslim population, according to official estimates.

The Indonesian Central Statistic Bureau indicated in 2000, that of 240,271,522 people, 86.1 percent of the population label themselves, while the rest feel close to mainly Christianity or Hinduism.


  1. More immoral violent attacks on innocent Christians by Muslims who cannot defend their faith with reason, but only with violence and the sword. A Summary of the History of Islam! Stealing and destroying the property of those of other faiths is also TOTALLY AGAINST ALL GOD’S COMMANDS, ESP. THAT OF LOVE! By these Atrocities such Muslims show that their particular brand of the Islamic faith is NOT a religion of peace, love or tolerance, but one of hatred and violence and inequality! But will there be ANY peaceful Indonesian or other Muslims or Govts to protect these and the many other Non-Muslim minorities being likewise so continually marginalized and attacked? Let’s wait and see! MOST HAVE BEEN WAITING IN VAIN FOR CENTURIES!


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