Indonesia: Islamic radicals attack Christian home believing it to be a church

Monday, November 22, 2021

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - It was only recently reported that Islamic radicals in East Java, Indonesia, attacked and extensively damaged the home of a Protestant Christian man at the end of last month, apparently believing the house to be a church, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports. Indonesia’s Ministry of Religious Affairs has reportedly launched an investigation into the attack.

The man whose home was attacked is a member of the Protestant Huria Batak Church (HKBP) in the Karawang district of East Java, ICC reports. The attack was apparently motivated by a rumor that the home was being used for worship: Indonesian believers often congregate in homes because of governmental opposition to Christianity and the difficulty in gaining permits to open public churches.

However, the Synod of the Indonesian Protestant Church said in an official website statement that the home had never been used for worship services, ICC said.

Additionally, Mohammad Nuruzzaman, a collaborator of the Ministry for Religious Affairs, even went so far as to condemn the attack and express solidarity with the Synod: “Violent gestures of this nature are illegal and contrary to all the principles of any religion.” The Ministry of Religious Affairs has reportedly launched an investigation into the attack and has said it intends to work on a solution together with the Karawang Forum for Interreligious Dialogue.

Nevertheless, according to the Christian advocacy organization Open Doors USA: “In Indonesia, the situation for Christians has been deteriorating in recent years, with Indonesian society taking on a more conservative Islamic character.” Indonesia ranks 47 on the US Open Doors Watch List 2021 of top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.