Workers from Voice of the Martyrs in Sulawesi, Indonesia are aiding Christians there in the aftermath of an IS-affiliated terrorist attack on November 27. Terrorists murdered 4 Christians, burned 7 homes including a Salvation Army prayer room, and displaced 750 Christians in the village of Lewonu Lembantongoa. A manhunt for the attackers is underway, aided by a special unit of the Indonesian military.
According to Voice of the Martyrs Korea representative Dr. Hyun Sook Foley, around 8am on Friday November 27, terrorists allegedly affiliated with IS set the Salvation Army prayer room on fire, before killing Salvation Army Captain Arnianto, Lieutenant Abram Kako and his wife, and another Christian identified as Mrs. Mpapa. Out of the four victims, one was beheaded, two were hacked to death, and the other was burned to death.
Representative Foley reports that police have increased protection for the villages in the area. According to the Jakarta Post the Indonesian military has deployed a special unit to search for the killers.
“VOM workers are on the ground aiding the families. We have sent emergency financial support from our Families of Martyrs fund and will continue to do so,” says Representative Foley. “It will be a long-term process of recovery. Our VOM workers report as many as 750 Christians were driven from their homes by the militants, who attacked the villagers with swords and guns. The families are still in shock and will need trauma counseling. Some don’t want to go back to their village because the terrorists have not been captured.”
Representative Foley says VOM workers have learned that the terrorist group may have suspected the Christian community of reporting them to the police. “They may have carried out the attack as a reprisal,” says Representative Foley. “We pray that just as when Indonesian Christians were viciously attacked in 2018, they will not respond with vengeance but instead will entrust vengeance to the Lord and pray for those who struck them.” Indonesian Christians faced suicide attacks in 2018, when another IS-linked group sent bombers into three churches in Surabaya, the country’s second-largest city.
“Please pray that the Lord will somehow use these tragic deaths for good,” says Representative Foley. “Pray that the Lord will help us see those who died in the way he sees them: as overcomers, not just as victims. Pray that those who mourn will be comforted. Pray not only for the capture of the terrorists but even for their repentance.”
Representative Foley said Voice of the Martyrs Korea has sent aid from its Families of Martyrs fund to care for the families of those killed as well as displaced Christians. She said Voice of the Martyrs Korea hopes to send more funds soon. “We are designating donations made to our Voice of the Martyrs Korea Families of Martyrs and Prisoners fund in December to this emergency.”
Donations to VOMK’s Families of Martyrs and Prisoners (FOM/FOP) fund can be made at www.vomkorea.com/en/donation or via electronic transfer to:
국민은행 (KB Bank) 463501-01-243303
예금주 (Account Holder): (사)순교자의소리
Please include the name “FOM/FOP” on the donation.