In what one Indonesian human rights activist describes as the latest attack in an ongoing terror campaign against Christians of Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, three teenage girls en route to school through a cocoa plantation were beheaded Saturday morning, apparently by Muslims.
Theresia Murangke, 14, and Ida Lambuaga and Alfina Yarni Sambue, both 15, were attacked one mile from Sayo village near the town of Poso, reports Indonesian human rights activist Ibrahim Buaya, who formerly lived in this volatile region of Indonesia. A fourth girl, Noviana Malewa, 14, escaped from her attackers with machete wounds to her face. Buaya reported that she is in Poso General Hospital under heavy guard. The Associated Press reported that Noviana told police the six attackers wore black shirts.
Two of the girls' heads were found near a police station five miles from the village of Poso. The head of the third was left in front of Kasiguncu village's Pentecostal Church of Indonesia (GPdI), eight miles from where the bodies were found in the cocoa plantation.
Christian human rights attorney Ann Buwalda, director of Jubilee Campaign USA¸ describes Central Sulawesi as "crawling with Laskar Jihad terrorist training camps." The Indonesian Muslim militant group, whose name means "Holy War Warriors," has killed thousands since 2000 in its attacks on Christian populations on the islands of Moluccas and Sulawesi.
Laskar Jihad is "determined to exterminate the Christian community in this region," Buaya said.
Anti-Christian violence began in Central Sulawesi in December 1998, including assassinations, forced closure of churches, bus and market bombings, and the torching of more than 20 Christian villages. On June 19, 2000, Muslim militants massacred 211 ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 63+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more