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Fw: Persecution in Indonesia

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  • John & Mely
    ... From: Peter Kentley To: Airborne Sent: Tuesday, December 04, 2001 7:14 AM Subject: Persecution in Indonesia Jihad Persecution of Christians in Indonesia
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 4, 2001
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Tuesday, December 04, 2001 7:14 AM
      Subject: Persecution in Indonesia

      Jihad Persecution of Christians in Indonesia

      Dear concerned friends,

      The following pictures tell the story seen by Jeff Hammond as he drove through the Poso region of Indonesia in the last week. There are more photos available on the IFC web site (see below) displaying burnt churches and recent devastation from Jihad attacks.

      How would you feel if your local church and your house were burnt down? How would you feel if your family had to flee to the bush to survive? How would you feel if Jihad fighters invaded your neighbourhood to terrorise and destroy?

      These are questions we must ask if we are to come to some understanding of the shocking position of Christians brothers and sisters in Indonesia as you read this email. People under attack from jihad fighters from outside their district reinforced by jihad warriors from outside their country. Would you try to defend yourself and your family and friends?

      The accuracy of these reports have been attested to by many sources including the UN, the Jakarta Post, other Christian organisations and the Laskar Jihad's own web site. If you have any doubts, log onto the Google search engine and search "Poso Laskar Jihad".

      What can you do?
      1. Research the Jihad for yourself - as mentioned above.
      2. Pray that the hand of God may stay this evil.
      3. Pass on the information to other concerned people.
      4. Promote media coverage of these events.
      5. Bring this to the attention of concerned religious, business and political leaders.

      The following pictures and explanations have been supplied by Jeff Hammond. Their web site is:

      Some jihad post on palu-poso road where Christians cannot pass. All Christians dragged from cars and killed. Their hero "Osama Bin Laden"

      Jihad post flying the jihad flag - black with white Arabic writing

      Jihad posts manned with military weapons

      Under bin laden - it says "this is our leader"

      Pastor, St Hilary's Anglican Church Kew
      Sunday December 2, 2001

      The city of Tentena in Sulawesi, Indonesia is the latest target of
      Indonesia's Laskar Jihad.  In its newsletters issued during the past
      year, the Laskar Jihad has been declaring its intention of 'restoring
      security' in the Poso region.  They are now on their way to taking
      control of  the Christian city of Tentena, which has been a safe haven
      for Christian refugees during the conflicts of the past three years.

      Thousands of houses in the villages between Poso and Tentena have been
      burned down or bulldozed over the last three days:  villages affected
      include Sepe, Silanca, Betalemba, Paitwunga, Tangkura, Sangionora and
      Eebua.  Inhabitants of these villages have fled to Tentena.  The Jihad
      forces now control the roads going into Tentena and have cut off all
      supplies going into Tentena.

      Michael Elmquist, deputy United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator, said
      Tuesday that a recent mission to the province had found an "extremely
      tense" situation, with a "depth of hatred" between Christians and
      Muslims.  He reported that up to 7,000 members of Laskar Jihad have
      moved from the Malukus to continue their battle in Poso.

      The residents of Tentena were all awoken on Saturday night (December 1),
      with men placed on guard around the city, whilst women and children are
      packing small bags, preparing to evacuate into the jungles.  This
      community of around 50,000 is without significant armed protection.
      They fear a massacre within the next 48 hours.

      In its published newsletters and on its web site, the Laskar Jihad has
      repeatedly rejected pleas from Christian communities in Ambon and in
      Sulawesi for reconciliation, claiming that such requests are only a
      smokescreen for violent intentions.  In the meantime, fresh Jihad forces
      continue to arrive for the Poso campaign:  900 jihad fighters arrived in
      Poso by boat on Wednesday (Nov 28).

      In the past both Christians and Muslims have perpetrated violence in the
      area, although Indonesian media reports have emphasized Muslim
      casualties.  The conflicts began in 1998 with Muslim riots and attacks
      against Christian homes in Poso itself.  In later phases of the conflict
      Christian groups counterattacked, with significant Muslim casualties.
      However the arrival this year of the Laskar Jihad has placed the whole
      conflict on a completely different footing, transforming it from the
      category of localized interfaith and intertribal conflict - the Poso
      ethnic group are 90% Christian in a majority Muslim province - into the
      domain of international Jihad.  The Sulawesi Jihad forces include
      Afghanis and Pakistanis who are training the jihad militia in the
      manufacture and use of bombs and other weapons.  Its leader Jaffar Umar
      Thalib is a veteran of the Soviet-Afghan war.  Where formerly military
      posts lined the roads into Tentena, now there are Jihad forces, with
      black Jihad Flags flying and posters of Osama Bin Laden and the
      subscript "This is our Leader".  Bin Laden is known to have been one of
      the financial backers of the Laskar Jihad.

      Why does the Indonesian government and international opinion permit the
      continued activities of the violent Laskar Jihad organization with known
      links to international terrorism?  Why is the world so disinterested in
      this campaign of terror, a campaign whose far-reaching objectives are
      shared with Osama Bin Laden's Al Qaeda network?  Why has the Indonesia
      government been unable to prevent religious conflict in Sulawesi?
      Recent reports indicate that some military units have even joined forces
      with the Jihad militia.  At present virtually all armed Government
      forces have withdrawn from the Tentena area.  Christians in the area
      report that only three rifles have been left between the 35 police
      stationed in the township.

      Will December 25, 2001 prove to be the 'Bloody Christmas' which the
      Laskar Jihad forces gathering around Tentena have promised?   If so,
      this will be to Indonesia's enduring shame, and to the shame of the rest
      of the world.  At this moment, while all the world's eyes are on the
      Middle East, a tragedy of huge proportions is passing virtually
      unnoticed in Indonesia.

      Mark Durie
      St Hilary's Anglican Church
      12 John St
      Kew 3101


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