>This post is a follow-up to my post of September 19, 2006 about the three Indonesian Catholics who were accused of inciting violence between Muslims and Christians in 2000.
The Baptist Press in its edition of September 22 is reporting that the three Indonesian Catholics accused of causing riots between Muslims and Christians we put to death by firing squad amid doubts of guilt.
The following is an excerpt of the news report published by the Baptist Press:
PALU, Indonesia (BP)–Three Catholics accused of masterminding a 2000 riot between Muslims and Christians in Indonesia were executed by firing squad at an undisclosed location in the island nation’s Central Sulawesi province Sept. 22, the Jakarta Post reported.
Government sources said Fabnianus Tibo, Dominggus da Silva and Marinus Riwu had admitted their roles in religious violence, but doubt has surfaced in both Christian and Muslim circles about their guilt. Even Indonesia’s former president, Abdurrahman Wahid, called for a stay of execution the day before the death sentences were carried out, the newspaper reported.
Wahid said the executions were “against Islam,” but that Attorney General Abdurrahman Saleh insisted on moving forward with the executions “because he doesn’t understand religion.”
“In hadis (Muslim tradition), if there is doubt, in this case if the prosecutor has any doubt, don’t do it,” Wahid said. “It’s just that the attorney general did not pay attention to religion.”
The men, called “Christian militants” by the paper, were the only individuals executed in a long-term conflict that ran from 1998 to 2002 between Muslims and Christians in the volatile Poso area of the Sulawesi province. Government sources previously cited the number of Muslim dead in the 2000 riot the men allegedly caused at near 1,000, but AsiaNews and the Jakarta Post put the number between 70 and 200.
In addition to claiming that Tibo, da Silva and Riwu did not organize the violence against Muslims, advocates for the men protested the fact that few Muslims were charged with any offenses during the fighting that took place between the two groups from ’98-’02. More than 10,000 Christians in Indonesia died at the hands of Muslims during the conflict, according to International Christian Concern, a Christian human rights organization based in Washington, D.C.
To read the news report in its entirety, click here.
This is a sad story. As Christians, we must pray for Christians around the world who are being oppressed and persecuted.
They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They [were] persecuted and mistreated–the world was not worthy of them (Hebrews 11:37-38).
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary