Pastor in West Papua Murdered Amid Regional Tensions

09/22/2020 Indonesia (International Christian Concern) – On September 19, unknown assailants shot and killed Pastor Jeremiah Zanambani at his farm in Intan Jaya, Papua. Pastor Zanambani was known across Indonesia for his servant’s heart and translating the Bible into Papua’s Moni dialect.

After Pastor Zanambani was killed, the Indonesian military blamed a ‘rebel’ armed separatist group, known as the KKSB. However, the Indonesian Gospel Tabernacle Church (GKII), Pastor Zanambani’s congregation, disputed the military’s report, claiming military officers killed him for no reason.

Colonel IGN Suriastawa, of the Indonesian military, claimed GKII’s accusation was ‘fake news’ intended to discredit military authority.

West Papua has a long history of violence following Indonesia’s annexation of the territory after Indonesia gained its independence from the Netherlands. Indonesia was prepared to invade West Papua by force until the United States and the U.N. proposed the 1969 “Act of Free Choice,” which legally integrated the two.

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