Pentecostal Christian Assassinated in Indonesia, New Violence Feared

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Tuesday, October 11, 2005
By BosNewsLife News Center

JAKARTA, INDONESIA (BosNewsLife)-- A member of a Pentecostal church in Indonesia's tense province of Central Sulawesi was assassinated amid fresh concerns over new religious violence in the area where thousands of Christians were killed in recent years, human rights watchers said Thursday, October 6.

The Voice Of the Martyrs (VOM), which investigates the plight of persecuted Christians, said 53-year old Pamilton Tadoa of the Tabernakel Pentecostal Church was shot in the head and killed in the area of Poso while "he rode his motorbike to a school where he served as treasurer."

"The assassin has not been identified," added VOM in a message to BosNewsLife. Pamilton reportedly came from Pantengolemba village which is part of the town of Poso, a main port and transportation hub for the northeastern coast of Central Sulawesi.

His death raised fears of a new Islamic crack down on evangelicals in Indonesia, where 10,000 Christians died between 1998 and 2003 at the hands of Islamic Jihad Warriors, according to human rights group Open Doors. About 1,000 churches were burnt down by Islamist mobs, Open Doors said.


Earlier on September 29, an Indonesian Assembly Pentecost Church in the Katapang sub-district of Bandung, the capital of West Java, was forced to close by local authorities who have been cooperating with Islamic militants, VOM and other investigators have suggested.

Hundreds of churches have been forced to close down, especially in areas such as West Java, said Christian Freedom International (CFI), another religious rights group which conducted an investigation there.

Indonesia is the world's largest Muslim country. 88 per cent of the population is Muslim, while Christians make up less than 10 per cent, according to Christian estimates. Muslim groups have increased their protests against Christian activities, human rights groups say, amid fears of the spread of Christianity following the tsunami relief efforts.


Christian aid groups have been involved in aid and education projects in the aftermath of the December 26 tsunami disaster which killed at least 220,000 people in a dozen Asian nations, according to estimates.

In one incident against Christian activities, hundreds of Muslims in Cikampek, 65 kilometers (40 miles) southeast of Jakarta, took to the streets after Friday prayers on September 23 to protest the building of a school funded by a Christian foundation, VOM reported.

The school had been stopped in 2004 after repeated vandalism and violence against the foundation, VOM said. The group said it had urged its supporters to "pray" for persecuted Christians and for "Christian workers in Indonesia that they will reflect Christ in all of their actions." (With Stefan J. Bos, BosNewsLife Research and reports from Indonesia).

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