From the Barnabas Fund, with thanks to Susan:
Three shootings in four days leave two Christians dead and one
seriously injured in the Poso area of Central Sulawesi.
Pastor Freddy Wuisan, 25, was fatally shot in the chest in front of his wife, in Membuke about 30 miles west of Poso, by gunmen who knocked on the door to his house next to the Church. Six hours earlier on the same day of Tuesday 30 March, the Christian Dean of the School of Law at Sintuwu Moroso University, Poso, was seriously injured by shots to the head and right hand. Rosia Pilongo, 41, is in critical condition at Poso General Hospital. Witnesses near the shootings on Tuesday saw in each case two people quickly leaving the area on a motorcycle.
The two attacks on Tuesday follow another shooting on Saturday 27 March in which Christian Tanalida, 37, was killed near central Poso. This shooting occurred a few hours after the discovery of bomb outside a church in Maleali subdistrict, some 60 miles northwest of Poso.
RIDE BY SHOOTINGS
‘Ride by shootings’ and other attacks by motorcyclists are becoming a common feature of anti-Christian violence in Central Sulawesi, suggesting some kind of coordination in these attacks which occur over a widespread area. Most recently, on 11 March, a woman in the village of Maranatha, 18 miles to the south of regional capital Palu, was hacked to death by motorcyclists wielding machetes. On 24 January motorcyclists attacked a village 20 miles to the west of Poso, injuring a policeman. On 5 December motorcyclists shot at six young
Christians in Poso itself, injuring two. On 29 November Muslims pulled up on a motorbike outside a church 70 miles to the east of Poso and shot dead two worshippers. On 1 October a Christian convert from Islam was gunned down in Pandiri (12 miles south of Poso), by two assassins on a motorbike.
BACKGROUND AND ANALYSIS
Between 1999 and 2001 all out fighting in the area around Poso claimed some 2000 lives. It ended with the Malino Peace Accord in December 2001, but sporadic violence has continued ever since. Analysts say that several of the recent attacks are being carried out by a particularly violent local Islamic group called Mujahideen Kompak. They in turn are a subgroup of the militant Islamist group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) that operates in many countries of Southeast Asia with the aim of setting up an Islamic Super-State under the rule of shari’a
(Islamic law). JI were responsible for the Bali bombings and for the church bombings on Christmas Eve 2000 which killed 18 Christians celebrating Christmas.