BLACK CHRISTMAS
Painful "presents" for Indonesian Christians

Subject: [Fwd: IN: Painful Christmas Presents]
Dear brothers
Assalaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuhu!

I do not know the background to these extremely disturbing events 
but, in view of our own persecution, I think it only just that we 
should give appropriate publicity to this satanic work and offer 
our sympathy and, if possible, assistance by joining the voices of 
condemnation. There can never be any justification for the 
destruction of places of worship. Maybe Ahmadis could and should 
be in the forefront of defenders of freedom of worship not only on 
our own behalf.

Wasalaam

Rafiq Mahmood
Jakarta

=====

BLACK CHRISTMAS
Christmas Presents for Indonesian Christians

	Still in the Christmas season, on December 26, 1996, several 
churches in Tasikmalaya, West Java, Indonesia have been burned 
down. It has not been long since Black Thursday incident in 
Situbondo, East Java on October 10, where 25 churches were burned 
down or vandalized and 5 people were burned to dead inside one of 
the churches. Reuters and other media have also reported this 
incident.

	The rioting was apparently caused by the police beating of a 
Moslem school teacher and his two students. Yet it surely had 
nothing to do with the churches. Confirmed report from church 
sources tells that there are 11 churches burned down or 
vandalized, including:

Burned down:
1. Catholic Church, Sutrisna Senjaya St.
2. GKI (Christian Church of Indonesia), Veteran St.
3. GPdI (Pentecostal Church in Indonesia), Penyerutan St.
4. GBI (Bethel Church of Indonesia), Citapen St.

Damaged heavily:

1. GGP (Pentecostal Movement Church), Wirataningrat St.
2. Kerasulan Baru Church, Tentama Palaya St.
3. GKIm (Immanuel Christian Church), Manyar Utaryo St.

Damaged lightly:

1. Yesus Sejati Church
2. Pasundan Christian Church, Silakaso St.
3. GBT (Bethel Tabernacle Church), Veteran St.

	Other casualties include: 2 Christian schools, 4 banks, 
shops, department store, police office, cars and 3 people (2 were 
burned inside their shops).

	This incident has added the total number of church attacks 
in Indonesia by fanatic Moslems to over 300 in the past five 
years. Actually the problem is not between Moslem and Christian an 
sich, for there are Moslems opposing such human rights violations. 
Fanatism mixed with political interests have contributed to these 
barbaric actions. It seems that to them, everything can be a 
reason to attack churches.

	Another report has just also arrived,telling about 
persecution against a pastor in Sukoharjo, Central Java. D. 
Mendrofa, pastor of GPdI (Pentecostal Church in Indonesia) Grogol, 
was brutally beaten by fanatic Moslems on December 18, 1996. The 
incident took place in the mid of fellowship meeting in the 
pastor's house when 50 youths came and demanded that the meeting 
be stopped. They also said that Christians are not allowed to have 
religious meeting in the houses, and that no Christian should live 
in the village. The Christians refused to stop their meeting so 
the youths beat the pastor. The pastor fell down unconsciously and 
was hospitalized. Two painful Christmas presents. Yet there may be 
unreported ones. More information on church persecution in 
Indonesia, including photographs, could be seen at 
http://www.fica.org/ by following the "persecution" link.



For more information on December 26 attacks: Return to Project Open Book