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Christian Converts Suffer Under Radical Islam

30 June 2005

Christian Converts Suffer Under Radical Islam

Barnabas Fund serves the suffering Church and makes their needs known around the world. Barnabas Fund channels aid to projects run by nationals in more than 40 countries.

In Aceh, Indonesia, Barnabas Fund is supporting Christians whose lives have been devastated by the Boxing Day Tsunami. Six months on since the Tsunami, houses are being built and business are being re-established for the Christian community through funds donated to Barnabas Fund.

Julian Dobbs, New Zealand Director of Barnabas Fund who has visited Aceh three times since the Tsunami says that Aceh is a province of Indonesia governed by Sharia (Islamic) Law. Under such circumstances Christian converts are severely persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ.

Elsewhere in Indonesia Barnabas Fund is supporting Christians who are under extreme pressure. At least 19 Christians were killed and dozens injured, some of them seriously, when two bombs exploded in quick succession in a crowded market in the mainly Christian town of Tentena, Indonesia, on Saturday 28th May 2005. Islamic militants are suspected to be behind the attack.

The first bomb went off soon after 8.00 a.m., as people gathered at the scene to help, a much larger bomb exploded some minutes later, flattening many of the nearby food stalls. Among the dead were a church leader and a toddler. Estimates of the number injured range from 30 to 50, with some of them very seriously hurt. The second bomb was the most powerful blast in Indonesia since the Bali bombing in October 2002.

Tentena is located in the Poso district of Sulawesi, a district which was wracked with anti-Christian violence from 2000 to 2002. An estimated 1,000 people were killed during that time.

Mr Dobbs, who recently had dialogue at the United Nations, says that political correctness prevents information about persecuted Christians from being reported. Many governments and leaders in the developed nations are terrified by the more radical elements of Islam and due to this, the suffering of many thousands of Christian converts goes unreported and unnoticed by western governments and much of the public.

Mr Dobbs is available for interviews. In the coming weeks he will address churches in Auckland, Kawerau, Nelson, Tauranga, Canterbury, Waitara, Marlborough, Westport, Levin and Taupo

ENDS

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