Indonesia: House church threatened by Muslim extremists with machete

Thursday, September 7, 2023 | Tag Cloud

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – Members of a house church in West Sumatra Province, Indonesia, were placed in extreme danger by Muslim relatives of their landlord, who broke up their worship service by threatening to kill them with a machete last month, Morning Star News (MSN) reports.

At around 8.30 pm on August 29, the Sola Gratia congregation of Bethel Indonesia Church was holding a service in a rented house in Jalan Banuaran, Padang, when a Muslim woman arrived, throwing stones at the windows and demanding that congregants cease worshiping MSN reports.

Congregation leader Pastor Hiatani Ziduhu Hia said in a statement that the woman, who was eventually identified as a relative of the house owner, was then joined by her husband, who was armed with a machete, and by another man brandishing a club. “We continued to pray,” the pastor said. “We stayed calm, trying to explain the situation to them. But they didn’t pay attention to us.”

At this point, the congregation stopped their service and ran out of the house. “We know that the owner of the house is not her, because we pay someone else,” Pastor Hiatani said. “Those who receive our money also know that we occasionally use the place for worship. The head of the neighborhood already knows about our activities. As for the perpetrators, we know that they are the relatives of the house owners, not the house owner.”

The congregation reported the matter to Padang police, who dismissed the complaint as “just a misunderstanding” over “neighborhood ethics” and claimed that the man with the machete was “suffering from mental disorders,” MSN reports.

Although Christianity is legal under Indonesia’s constitution, the Islamic-majority nation ranks 33rd on the US Open Doors World Watch List 2023 of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.

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