Muslim Jihad Set to Attack Christians in Indonesia

by International Christian Concern

Muslim Jihad Set to Attack Christians in Indonesia

International Christian Concern (ICC) has received word from Indonesia that 3,000 Jihad warriors are poised to attack and exterminate the remaining Christians in central Sulawesi, according to Steve Snyder, founder and president of ICC. The violent clashes between armed members of the Muslim and Christian communities have been taking place since April last year, causing constant tension between Muslims and Christians and retaliations from both sides.

In early August, police clashed with several well-armed bands that Christians say were associated with the Laskar Jihad (holy warriors). They attacked the village of Toyado in Lage District and at least five of the insurgents were reported killed by the police, according to the Jakarta Post. In an interview with the Post, Poso police chief Adj. Sr. Cmr. Djasman Baso confirmed the clash and also confirmed that villagers and police have been subjected to sporadic attacks by the "unidentified assailants" for several days. The situation in Poso remains tense.

The attack on Christians by Muslims in the village of Maleu Lage on July 1 was the result of the latest wave of unrest in Poso. Two Christians were reported killed and 160 houses burned to the ground, forcing some 1,670 people to flee into the jungles. Some Christians retaliated by burning 88 Muslim homes, according to a senior police commissioner. As in previous attacks, the Indonesian government took no action.

On July 18, in a separate attack on the Christian village of Uelene, in the District of Poso, every home was razed to the ground by the Jihad warriors. Four days earlier, thousands of Jihad warriors had come from the village of Pandajaya and burned down 25 Christian homes before July 18th attack. Three Christians were killed and nine wounded.

The number of Christian refugees fleeing from the region rose from 1,800 in early June to more than 6,000 as of mid-July. The number continues to rise as more Christians are evacuated from the jungles and mountains where they are presently hiding. Since June, the jihad attacks have increased in strength every day. One policeman said that, on the average, "ten Christians are killed every day."

In a marginally-related incident, members of the Laskar Jihad (Ahlul Sunnah wal Jamaah) group, led by Ajip Safruddin, arrived in Palu, the capital of Central Sulawesi. The members were well armed and said that they had come to "observe the life and conditions in Poso. Ajip was quoted as saying, "we have been called to help our Muslim brothers in Poso after learning that many Muslims had been killed and robbed of their rights."

Steve Snyder, president and found of International Christian Concern (ICC), said "There is a growing concern about the Jihad warriors, who are openly soliciting recruits and finances to help fight against the Christians. The Jihad have reportedly already dispatched 500 troops with another 2,500 on the way.

ICC is helping with the evacuation efforts of Christians who are still trapped by the Jihad or hiding in the jungles, said Snyder.

International Christian Concern

Washington, DC

www.persecution.org; email: icc@persecution.org