50,000 Christians Surrounded By Islamic Jihad forces

Sunday, August 4, 2002

ULAWESI ISLAND, INDONESIA (ANS) -- Over 50,000 Christians are in grave jeopardy as they are surrounded by jihad terrorists in central Sulawesi Island, Indonesia.

"As of Saturday night Indonesia time, the District of Poso in central Sulawesi Island was under attack by Islamic Jihad forces," said Christian Aid's contact in northern Sulawesi. "The situation is very critical. Unless there is a miracle many lives will be lost."

"Over the weekend we received an alarming urgent e-mail from our contact in northern Sulawesi and immediately this morning e-mailed our list of persons who requested to be notified of such emergencies," said John Lindner, Editor of Christian Aid's "Missions Insider" e-mail report and "Christian Mission" print magazine.

The contact in Sulawesi, who asked that his name not be published, said he had just talked with Christian leaders in Tentena, a city in central Sulawesi, and they were crying out for help. "They are desperate for food, medicine and protection. They are completely surrounded and request our prayer support. If the jihad terrorists break through [local defenses] there will be great massacres."

According to the contact, the jihad forces are well organized and well equipped -- sometimes better equipped than the army.

"This is of utmost urgency and we must pray that the hand of the Lord will stop these disciples of bin Laden from doing their evil deeds," the contact said.

Intercessors across the United States and around the world are being asked to pray. "Please bring this to the attention of as many intercessors as possible. Call your friends, prayer groups and churches and ask them to pray, as these Christians are in imminent danger," said Lindner.

Lindner suggested the following prayer objectives:

* That Indonesia's president, Megawati Sukarnoputri, will have wisdom, courage, and backing to be able to prevent the carnage. So far a strong militant Islamic element has hindered the government's full response to this entire jihad crisis.
* That the Indonesia military will have courage, weapons and orders to stop the jihad attackers.
* That Christians in peril will stand steadfast in their faith.
* That God Himself will intervene.

"Christian Aid (along with International Christian Concern and others) is still receiving contributions to rescue and relocate Christians trapped by jihad terrorists, as the Lord makes it possible to do so," said Lindner.

"So far 2,791 Christians have been rescued from the fate of jihad terrorists. They extend their profound gratitude to those whose prayers, gifts and efforts made their rescue and relocation to a safe place possible. The effort to feed and house them continues," Lindner said.