Christians have been targeted by Muslim extremists in the Bogor regency of West Java, Indonesia, with an educational building being burned down.
Tensions mounted after Muslim villagers accused the educational foundation of trying to build a chapel on the site by deception, although the foundation’s leaders said this was not the case.
According to reports from Barnabas Fund, there have been increasing incidents of violence against Christians in the area. In December 2009, at Islamic New Year, thousands of demonstrators stormed a church in Bekasi regency, setting objects on fire.
On 31 December, the authorities in East Bekasi, under the influence of hard-line Muslim groups, ordered a large church to stop its services and other activities. On 3 January 2010, hundreds of residents of the North Tambun sub-district prevented members of another church from taking part in services. In Bogor, Muslims took to the streets to protest against the building of a permanent church.
Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, international director of Barnabas Fund, said, ‘Again, our brothers and sisters in Indonesia have suffered violence and loss at the hands of their Muslim neighbours. Where will this end? They need our practical support and especially our prayers as they seek to stand firm in the face of such serious challenges’.