Last Sunday, an armed mob of approximately 50 individuals launched unprovoked attacks on four Christian churches, causing extensive damage to church property including windows, benches, and sound systems. Fortunately, with the exception of one minister being hurt, no one has been reported injured during the attacks. According to sources from the Associated Press, the minister had suffered only minor head injuries during the attacks.
Incidents similar to that of last Sunday’s violence have happened in the largely Muslim-dominant island nation. The mere presence of Christian churches in Indonesia often led to many of these unprovoked, and often violent confrontations. Allegedly, many local Muslims have openly referred to Christian churches as mere “wild churches.”
Since Christians only account for 10 percent of Indonesia’s population 210 million people, many churches have found extreme difficulty in finding permission to construct new churches. Faced with little choice, most Indonesian churches have been forced to construct churches in the midst of shopping malls and business districts.
As such practice comes in violation of Indonesian city-planning laws, many Muslim Organizations have openly condemned Jakarta’s Christian community under the pretense of preserving law and order.