By Joseph DeCaro, BosNewsLife International Correspondent

Indonesia Christians worship amid persecution. Via CBN

JAKARTA, INDONESIA (BosNewsLife)– A Protestant congregation in Indonesia’s West Java province was without a church and other properties Sunday, October 16, after suspected Islamic militants and local authorities raided the building, a pastor said.

Reverend Bernard Maukar accused the ‘Islamic Defender Front’ group “aided by local officials” of forcing him to end worship services in the town of Jatinangor. Islamists, he said, described his church as “a haven for newly baptized Christians.”

The pastor added that he has also been accused of “proselytizing”, or evangelizing, in the  predominantly Muslim area.

In published remarks, the chief of the church’s village within Jatinangor reportedly defended his decision to close it down because it was within his jurisdiction.


“This area is under my authority,” said Arief Saefolah. “Please, get out as soon as possible.”

Saefolah and other local officials seized all Christian property, including furniture, musical instruments, and vehicles, pastor Maukar said.

A Christian woman, who did not give her name, said police “didn’t lift a finger” to stop the vandalism.

“Police have no guts against this radical group,” she said.


There was no immediate response from police, but the latest known incident comes after reported attacks against Christians in Indonesia amid what local Christians called “rising Islamic extremism”.

In one of the latest known attacks last month, a suicide bomber exploded near a Protestant church in Indonesia’s Central Java province which has close ties with one of America’s largest congregations.

Pastor Rick Warren of the 20.000-strong Saddleback Church in Southern California confirmed the attack in Solo City, in which the bomber died and over 20 others were injured.

On his Facebook website and Internet messages service Twitter he wrote: “Purpose Driven Network Alert: Our sister church in Solo City, Indonesia, Bethel Full Gospel Church, has just been bombed,” BosNewsLife monitored at the time.

Analysts say the attacks in Indonesia have been carried out, or encouraged by, Islamic militants who oppose the spread of Christianity and want to establish strict Islamic rule in several parts of the world’s most populous Muslim nation of 237 million people. (With additional reporting by BosNewsLife’s Stefan J. Bos).


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