Indonesia: Muslim extremists disrupt two church services; “If a church is seen to spreading the gospel, they soon run into opposition”

Tuesday, May 30, 2023 | Tag Cloud

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – Christians on Indonesia’s Sumatra Island were recently prevented from worshiping when mobs of Muslim extremists disrupted two separate services in Binjai, North Sumatra Province, and in Riau, Pekanbaru Province in southern Sumatra, Morning Star News (MSN) reports.

On May 19, a mob of Muslims interrupted a worship service at a café in Binjai, 13 miles from Medan, MSN reports. The mob was led by Uztad Alfan Daulay, who halted the midday service at the café where the Mawar Sharon congregation met in Jalan Sultan Hasanuddin, Setia village.

On the same day, a different mob of 40 men led by Yudi Ardiansah disrupted a service at Bethel Indonesia Church (Gereja Bethel Indonesia) in Riau. “We call on law enforcement officials to investigate some state officials who are causing a commotion among the local people,” Ardiansah is reported to have said.

Speaking to MSN about the disruptions, Rev. Henrek Lokra, executive secretary of the justice and peace bureau of the Communion of Christian Churches (Persatuan Gereja Indonesia or PGI) said his organization is investigating the two cases. “We have contacted the PGI regional leadership on this matter to know the problem more but give no comments on it,” Lokra told MSN.

In a statement about the situation for Christians in Indonesia, the Open Doors international Christian aid organization said: “If a church is seen to be preaching and spreading the gospel, they soon run into opposition from Islamic extremist groups, especially in rural areas.”

The majority Muslim Indonesia ranks 33rd on the US Open Doors World Watch List 2023 of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.

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