By BosNewsLife Asia Service
JAKARTA, INDONESIA (BosNewsLife) -- An international Christian aid group said Thursday, September 25, it has begun helping to rebuild a mainly Christian village in a remote area of Indonesia, which was destroyed by Muslim militants earlier this year.
The Britain-based Barnabas Fund said four Christians died, including an 84-year old man and a six-year-old girl, and dozens others were injured when a Muslim mob attacked Horale village in Maluku province in May. "On the night of May 2, a mob from a predominantly Muslim village nearby attacked Horale, wounding 56 Christians and brutally killing four," the group told BosNewsLife.
Three of the four victims had their throats slit, Barnabas Fund said. A woman, identified as Welhelmina Pattiasina, 47, was first tortured while her grand-daughter, Yola, 6, had her stomach cut open, said Barnabas Fund, which has investigated the situation.
Edward Unwaru, 84, was reportedly burned to death after his throat had been cut, while a fourth victim, 39-year-old Josef Laumahina, was allegedly cut and then burned. A local school, three churches and 120 houses were reportedly burnt down and crops, fishing boats and motor-cycles destroyed.
Villagers initially fled to the jungle to hide from the attackers, Barnabas Fund said. The group said it is helping Horale's 175 families, some 2,300 people, to rebuild their homes and lives.
The group explained that it is helping Christian villagers to rebuild their homes and lives. â€œThe first grant was sent earlier this month. The aim is to help villagers to reconstruct up to 120 houses, by providing funds to cover the building materials."
An average house costs about $1,835 and villagers will do the building work themselves, Christian aid workers explained. "If sufficient funds are available Barnabas Fund intends also to assist with the reconstruction of the community centre and village school, and also to provide fishing boats," the group added
It said it has urged supporters around the world to "Pray that there may be no return to the intense anti-Christian violence seen in Maluku province from 1999 to 2001, and that peaceful and harmonious relations between the Christian and Muslim communities may be restored."
In an e-mail message to friends, Barnabas Fund also asked Christians to pray for believers "who were injured or bereaved in Mayâ€™s attack" and â€œthat they may have grace to forgive those who set upon them" as well as for rebuilding efforts in the troubled village.
Barnabas Fund International Director, Patrick Sookhdeo, said he remained concerned as "Horale is situated in a remote area on the island of Seram in Maluku province," which has seen "a number of similar incidents" in recent months. "Maluku province experienced intense anti-Christian violence between 1999 and 2001, and it is alarming to consider that this may be starting again."
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