39 Christian believers were killed on December 26th in the Silo Church, the
largest Protestant church in the capital of Ambon, Indonesia. The church was destroyed
by fire. A report received from the Maranatha church in Ambon claims that “the situation
is becoming critical.” Christian-held areas on Ambon Island are now under mass attack by
Muslims. The site of the former Silo Protestant church, secured by the Muslims is now a
command post for the Muslims, and security forces are unable to penetrate the area.
According to eyewitnesses, the current situation is worse than the earlier Ambon unrest,
because the entire city of Ambon is under attack and a greater number of soldiers are
being deployed. (Associated Press, via World Evangelical Fellowship).
:: :: ::
Sariman, a seminarian at the Doulos Seminary in East Jakarta, Indonesia, died from stab
wounds when a mob of Muslim extremists attacked the school on December 15th. (World
:: :: ::
Rev. Sisino Bernal of First Assembly of God in Parsons, Kansas died when a gunman shot
him in the head as he got into a car in Envigado, a town near Medellin, Colombia. Bernal,
who has ministered to the Hispanic community in Parsons for several years, was on a
three-day evangelistic trip to Colombia. Police believe Bernal may have been mistaken for
Colombian pastor Basilio Patino. Bernal had just finished preaching at Patino’s church
when he was murdered. Patino said he had not received any death threats, but has gone
into hiding since the murder. Police have no suspects and no motive, but Christians in the
region said that rebel groups have targeted them for attack. (Associated Press, via
:: :: ::
Stenley, whose death in 1997 in Indonesia at the hands of angry Muslims was reported by
Richard Wurmbrant’s organization, had a “happy ending,” that may not yet be the ending.
They reported in March 1999: “Shortly after graduating from Palembang Bible School,
Stenley began to boldly preach the gospel to Indonesian Muslims. On a particular day, a
Muslim who had converted to Christianity was burning his idols. One of the idols that was
burned contained a rolled-up copy of the Koran. When the Muslim officials heard of the
event, they immediately came after Stenly. Stenley was arrested and severely beaten. He
was transferred to another prison where he was again beaten until he finally fell into a
coma. Within days Stenley went Home to be with the Lord.
Stenley’s martyrdom so impacted his hometown that 53 people made decisions to attend
Bible school and eleven Muslims came to know Christ. Seven of the students at the Bible
school asked the superintendent if they could go back to where Stenly had died to preach
the gospel.” (Voice of the Martyrs).
:: :: ::
The 22 Karen tribal villagers, including a baby and two children, 2 and 8, were killed
by Burmese soldiers on July 28th, 1999, some “in a most barbarous manner.” Our
source reports that it is estimated that 40% of the Karen tribe is Christian. They have
been ordered by the Burmese Government to renounce Christianity and return to the
state religion, Buddhism. Most all have refused and, as a result, the Karen are being
hunted like wild animals by the Burmese Army. Another seven Karen tribesmen were
reported killed on July 31st. (Jubilee Campaign, via The English Churchman).
Back to Saints and Martyrs