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(10/07/05) The Washington-DC based human rights group, International Christian Concern (ICC) www.www.persecution.org has been informed that Indonesian authorities narrowly missed capturing Noordin Mohamed Top, today. Top is one of the two primary suspects in the most recent Bali bombing. He and the other suspect, Azahari Husin, are members of the regional al-Qaida-linked group, Jemaah Islamiyah.
Indonesian authorities have shown dogged determination in tracking down Islamic fundamentalists that cross the line into violence and threaten the security of the State. While this is commendable, we find the Indonesian governments response to lesser threats from fundamentalist Islam not so encouraging.
The majority of Indonesia s Muslims are moderate and have a long history of peaceful co-existence with Christians, Hindus, and Buddhists. Yet, in the 1990s, Indonesia s brand of peaceful, tolerant Islam began to be infiltrated by Saudi-funded Wahabbi style Islam via the likes of Jemaah Islamiyah. This has led to an expected radicalization of the Muslim population that has been as disturbing as it has been lethal. From 1998 to 2002 it is estimated that 10,000 Christians were murdered, 80,000 Christian homes destroyed and 1,000 Churches burned down.
International Christian Concerns files are full of pictures of the horrors of these times. They include many pictures of fundamentalist Muslims standing around the severed heads of Christian families that were stopped at roadblocks and decapitated after the discovery they were Christian. All this happened with little regard from the outside world. When they did report on the horrors, reporters described them as sectarian violence or some other fairly innocuous phrase.
While the Indonesian government is very aggressive and focused on dealing with Muslim violence that threatens the State, they ignore (or worse) Islamic hatred and violence targeted at Christians across their archipelago that does not threaten the State.
The two most recent examples are the arrest and conviction of three Indonesian Christian housewives for teaching Sunday school to Muslim children (with the parents consent). Additionally, there is the closure of 60 Christian Churches in the just the last two months as well as government restrictions on the opening and operations of Christian Churches .
We ask all concerned individuals to sign our petition to the Indonesian government protesting these closings. The petition can be found at https://app.etapestry.com/hosted/InternationalChristianConcer/OnlineSignupTwo.html.
It is the first petition listed petition Indonesia .
ICC is a Washington-DC based human rights organization that exists to help persecuted Christians worldwide. ICC delivers humanitarian aid, trains and supports persecuted pastors, raises awareness in the US regarding the problem of persecution, and is an advocate for the persecuted on Capitol Hill and the State Department. For additional information or for an interview, contact ICC at 800-422-5441. To be removed from this press release list, hit reply and put remove from PR list in the subject line.