Three Schoolgirls Beheaded in IndonesiaNow isn't that sweet. Convert or be beheaded.
Saturday, October 29, 2005
JAKARTA, Indonesia — Unidentified assailants attacked a group of high school girls on Saturday in Indonesia's tense province of Central Sulawesi, beheading three and seriously wounding a fourth, police said.
The students from a private Christian high school were ambushed while walking through a cocoa plantation in Poso Kota subdistrict on their way to class, police Maj. Riky Naldo said. The rural area is close to the provincial capital of Poso, about 1,000 miles northeast of the Indonesian capital Jakarta.
He said the heads of the three dead girls were found several miles from their bodies.
Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim nation. But Central Sulawesi has a roughly equal number of Muslims and Christians. The province on Sulawesi island was the scene of a bloody sectarian war in 2001-2002 that killed around 1,000 people from both communities.
At the time, beheadings, burnings and other atrocities were common.
A government-mediated truce ended the conflict in early 2002 but since then, there have been a series of bomb attacks and assassinations targeting Christians. A market attack in the predominantly Christian town of Poso killed 22 people in May.
Christian leaders have repeatedly criticized the authorities in Jakarta for allegedly not doing enough to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
The Christian-Muslim conflict in Sulawesi was an extension of a wider sectarian war in nearby Maluku archipelago in which up to 9,000 people died between 1999 and 2002.
As you know, I blog for Voice of the Martyrs, a site that chronicles the anti-Christian persecution that remains all too prevalent in today's world. I urge you all to visit it, and be on the ready to have your eyes opened to some real inhumanity that make Abu Ghraib tactics look like Club Med service. But above all that, I urge you to look at the underlying spirit of those who are persecuted. Specifically, that even in the face of harrassment, imprisonment and even death, these people hold on to their faith. It is at the same time disheartening, and heartening; and makes one wonder whether one's own faith could stand up to such challenges.