Indonesia: Central Sulawesi Under Jihad Attack

Wednesday, December 5, 2001

Jihad terrorists have mounted a campaign on Christians in Central Sulawesi, according to reports from Indonesia. For the past three months, jihad militants have been pouring into the area.

On November 1, several hundred jihad terrorists came out of the jungle and attacked three more predominantly Christian villages of Tomata, Pinedapa and Kasiguncu. The terrorists set fire to the homes and destroyed church buildings. They also ambushed buses and stopped private vehicles. Any person identified as a Christian they dragged out of the vehicle and killed on the spot. (Government identification cards list the religion of the bearer.)

Some of the bad news is relatively good news: Up until now the violence has been dismissed as sporadic violence by armed gangs. And when a Christian member of the military died in one these conflicts, it was dismissed as part of normal military life. But in one night-long battle in mid-October, several Muslim members of the Indonesia military were killed, and others wounded. This is now causing the military to take seriously the threat of the jihad movement.

In the attacks in Central Sulawesi, 30 terrorists were killed and 38 others captured. They had Afghan characteristics, long beards (as required by Osama bin Laden's disciples) and were not able to speak Indonesian.

Christian Aid continues to fund rescue operations for Christians trapped in some villages by the Laskar Jihad, and to provide food and lodging for Christians who have fled for their lives to relocation centers. Christian Aid has thus far helped rescue 2791 Christians trapped by the Laskar Jihad, and helps minister to 54,000 displaced persons (out of a total in various locations of 787,000). To learn more about the rescue and relocation effort, write to and put 750PERS-MI-243 in the subject line.