Religious freedom violations against Indonesian Christians are rising and on track to surpass last year's increase.
Nearly two dozen churches have been forced to shut their doors this year, and violent attacks against Christians have increased since January, reports Compass Direct News. Most of the church closures occurred in Aceh Province, where local authorities have faced pressure from Islamist extremists.
In 2011, monitors tallied 64 known cases of religious freedom violations, up from 47 the year before. The Jakarta Christian Communication Forum already counted 40 reported incidents as of May, according to Compass.
The increase affects Indonesian Christians in the United States. In New Jersey, a pastor has drawn attention for harboring Indonesian refugees facing deportation in his church. In March, refugee Saul Timisela moved into a Sunday school classroom at the Reformed Church of Highland Park; within one month, two more men joined him.
Pastor Seth Kaper-Dale has pledged to help Timisela ...1