On 11 May, four Christian men were murdered in a village in Indonesia. Members of a terrorist group are believed to be responsible. Open Doors partners are looking to help the families of the victims.
Tragically, four Christian men from a village called Kalimago in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, were murdered by Islamic extremists on the morning of 11 May. The attack is believed to have been carried out by members of the terrorist group East Indonesia Mujahidin (MIT), which has links to so-called Islamic State – it’s the second attack in the past six months: four Christians were killed in Sigi, in the same region, last November.
"Central Sulawesi locals are still traumatised from the attack last November. They need our prayers now." Ari, an Open Doors partner
“Central Sulawesi locals are still traumatised from the terrorist attack in Sigi last November and have not recovered yet,” shares Ari*, a local Open Doors partner. “They need our prayers now.”
The victims (who have yet to be named) were men aged between 42 and 61, and all attended churches in the area.
A representative of the Central Sulawesi regional police told local media that a witness was on his way to his field when he saw five people approaching. According to this witness, he recognised one of these men as a member of the MIT terrorist group from posters that had been put up in public spaces. He ran to warn the people in his village.
At first, it was reported that two people were killed, but after the police taskforce combed the surrounding area where the first two victims were found, they found two other men who had been killed.
Initially, though those who were killed are Christians, it wasn't yet clear if the attacks were solely because of their faith. Later, however, Ari was able to give an update: "I got information from a reliable source that the believers were attacked because they are Christians."
Ari adds: “It could also be an act of survival. After the Sigi incident, the terrorists in Central Sulawesi have been increasingly pressed by the police and the army." It is believed that the terrorist group could now be as low as nine in number, but it has proved impossible so far to entirely wipe out MIT.
"Their logistics are exhausted," continues Ari. "The only way to survive is to rob people of foodstuffs. In this area, there are many farmers who live in the forest far from the village and they were the ones targeted by the terrorists.”
One of the men who was killed had been carrying five million Indonesian rupiahs (about £250), which is approximately a month’s wages for a farmer in Indonesia. This was taken during the attack.
Open Doors local partners are now trying to reach out to the churches and families of the victims. In the meantime, Ari asks for your prayers: “Pray for the church leader in the village and for the – victims' families. Also pray for the police and army, that they can protect all people in that village. Pray also that we can connect with the families of the victims.
"Fear and intimidation are trying to take over people’s hearts, but God’s power is more powerful." Ari, an Open Doors partner
“Pray for the peace of God to cover this area. Fear and intimidation are trying to take over people’s hearts, but God’s power is more powerful. May the heart of His people be reminded of that truth. Pray for protection over God’s people in Central Sulawesi. As long as these terrorists are not caught yet, the threat is lingering. People are afraid to go to their field, therefore they cannot work and produce crops. This will affect their economy.
“Pray for His angels to encamp surround His people and deliver them from any evil scheme. Pray for the police taskforce as they are hunting this terrorist group. Pray for protection, strength and wisdom to do their job, and pray that they will catch these perpetrators.”
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