ACEH, Indonesia (Christian Examiner) — Just as Christians across the globe were preparing for the International Day of Prayer, Sunday, Nov. 1, Open Doors reported nine Indonesian churches were demolished following religious violence in the Aceh province.
One person is reported dead and an estimated 8,000 Christians displaced in an Oct. 19-23 cleansing.
The churches were razed following threats by Muslim extremists who demanded two of the church with large congregations, were targeted for closure, along with the others, according to local church activists.
The police destroyed the church after being told to do it "or else, the radicals will deploy around 7,000 people [to attack]," said *Rudy [not his real name]. The government gave in to the demand."
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Open Doors said church member "watched in despair" as police officers "hammered down" the houses of worship—and that now around 1,000 "churchless believers" are forbidden even from worshipping in temporary tents.
Instead, they must go to other villages to worship and must apply for permits they are skeptical they will be able to obtain.
"Please pray for the Body of Christ in the Aceh province to be strong throughout this trial," Open Doors said. "Most of them are still in deep trauma even after returning home. Tensions have subsided, but the presence of police and military personnel remains strong."
Open Doors also urges solidarity in this time and that the national government will uphold the rights of the religious minority groups.