by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – A church in Mamasa in the West Sulawesi province of Indonesia was burned down during the pre-dawn hours of Sunday, June 27, International Christian Concern reports. No one was in the Toraja Mamasa church building at the time of the arson, and the destruction was discovered as people arrived later in the morning to worship at the Sunday service.
The perpetrator vandalized church furniture and broke windows before setting the building alight, ICC said. A joint investigation by Mamasa Police and the Sumarorong Police Criminal and Investigation Unit was launched, and Mamasa police apprehended a lone suspect, who is believed to have mental problems.
The police said the church choir room and numerous musical instruments were burned, as well as documents belonging to the congregation, ICC reports.
While it is reported that in this instance a crime against Indonesia’s Christian community was committed by a single individual with a mental illness, persecution against believers in the country has been getting worse in recent years.
According to the Open Doors USA watch group, Indonesia is becoming increasingly Islamic, and Christians from a Muslim background are especially vulnerable to harassment. Indonesia now ranks 47 on the Open Doors Watch List of countries where it is most difficult to be Christian.
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