Seventeen Churches Closed Down in Aceh

4 October 2002

The authorities gave no reason for these closures that have deprived over 
10,000 Christians of places to meet for worship. One congregation has tried to 
meet in the open air in a palm oil plantation. Christians in Aceh have been 
under increasing pressure since the implementation of Shari’ah (Islamic law) in 
the province in March 2002. Although Shari’ah regulations were only supposed 
to apply to Muslims, Christian women are being forced to conform to Islamic 
dress codes. Aceh is a strongly Islamic province and the implementation of 
Shari’ah was allowed by the national government as part of a special autonomy 
agreement aimed at countering a violent separatist movement fighting for an 
independent Islamic state in Aceh. As a result Christians are facing 
increasing difficulties and opposition.

• Pray that the seventeen churches will be allowed to reopen so that 
Christians will be able to meet together freely for worship.

• Pray that Christians in Aceh will not be subject to Shari’ah 
regulations and other restrictions.

The Barnabas Fund’s e-mail news service provides our supporters 
with short urgent news briefs and prayer requests for suffering 
Christians around the world. 

Please do share these news items with your Christian friends and 
churches. All news items are available on our website in a more 
colourful user-friendly presentation format which you can access, 
print and pass on. 

The Barnabas Fund, The Old Rectory, River Street, PEWSEY, 
Wiltshire, SN9 5DB, UK, Tel 01672 564938, Fax 01672 565030, 
E-mail Web

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