Christians Fear Attacks from Muslim Extremists in Sulawesi

December 11, 2003

Source: Cybercast News Service\ForeignBureaus\archive\200312\FOR20031211a.html

On December 11, 2003 Cybercast News Service reported, "As Christmas approaches, Christians in Indonesia's Sulawesi province are worried that despite an influx of troops and police, the deteriorating security situation of the last two months may worsen. Christian campaigners working in the area say many are too scared to live normal lives, afraid to tend, harvest or market their crops for fear of attack by Muslim extremists. A spate of violence against Christians since October has raised fears of a return to two deadly years of fighting in 1999-2000, which left 1,000 dead in the province. The conflict ended with a Muslim-Christian peace accord in 2001. Government officials have hinted that members of the al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group Jemaah Islamiah (JI) may be linked to the renewed attacks in Sulawesi, which lies about 1,600 kilometers northeast of Jakarta."