INDONESIA: Bomb Deactivated Outside Adventist Church
Adventists in Poso, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, alerted police after discovering a bomb at their church entrance on January 13. An explosives specialist deactivated the bomb, which police say could have been detonated by a cellular phone. Officials added that leads point to a Muslim extremist group.
The Poso Adventist Church, the second one to be built, has a membership of 100, down significantly from the 200 original members when the feud between Muslims and Christians flared up six years ago. The previous Poso church was among four other Adventist churches in the area burned down by extremists in the past few years. Church leaders in the area say the attacks do not specifically target Adventist churches, but Christian churches in general.
“Members of that church are again on red alert,” said Erenst Sahensolar, president of the Adventist Church in Central Sulawesi. “It is not safe and easy now worshipping God in any place.”
“This [isn’t] the only bomb incident that happened [in that area],” added Moldy Mambu, associate treasurer of the Southern Asia-Pacific Division. Five years ago a bomb exploded near the Poso Adventist Church, timed to strike Adventists at the height of the New Year’s celebration. The terrorists weren’t aware that the Adventist believers had already observed the New Year at sunset, the biblical mark of a new day, Mambu explained.
Indonesia is a predominantly Muslim country; only 8 percent of the people are Christian. More than 6,500 Adventists worship in 41 churches in the Central Sulawesi region.
—Adventist News Dispatch/ANN/AR.