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Church Closures by Militant Islam Continue in West Java, Indonesia

Another very disturbing report has come to hand from Eskol-Net in Bandung concerning the ongoing targeting of churches in West Java, Indonesia. Eskol-Net reported that today, Sunday, 21 August 2005, about 10.00 a.m local time while the church was holding its service, hundreds of men from the Anti Apostasy Movement Alliance (AGAP) came to the Pasundan Christian Church (GKP) Dayeuhkolot, South Bandung, West Java. The radical Islamic masses demanded that the Pasundan Christian Church (Presbyterian) which has existed since 1956 immediately stop their service and close it down. The editors of Eskol-Net who issued the initial report are still awaiting further information from their investigation team that is on location. Please pray for the minister and his family and also for the 300-400 members who are at the church service in the village of Dayeuhkolot. It is important to know, that the Islamic masses organized by the Indonesia Council of Mullahs (MUI) and the Front for the Defense of Islam (FPI) and trucked in by AGAP are also the same ones involved in the recent closures of several churches in West Java. This indicates a coordinated effort being conducted each week designed to create terror in the churches in the area as they do not know whether next week they will be the next ones to be attacked and closed down in this systematic attempt to destroy freedom of religion and to implement Syariah Law. There have been more than 35 churches closed down in this region in the last month and more than 100 in the last three years. The recent escalation is cause for concern as we witness an increased radicalization of Islam in Indonesia. We will report further on what has happened when further information is available.

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