Same shit, different day.
Jakarta (AsiaNews) – The city of Poso, in the Indonesian province of Central Sulawesi, has been the scene of renewed sectarian violence against the local Protestant minority. Overnight on Sunday, unknown assailants set fire to the Madele Pentecostal Church. The quick intervention of the congregation stopped the fire from spreading and spared the building from serious damages. The anti-Christian attack “occurred last night around midnight,” Poso Police Chief Eko Santoso said, confirming the sectarian nature of the incident. Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim nation, but Poso Regency (District) has a large Christian community. It saw bloody clashes that left thousands of people dead on both sides until a peace deal was struck in 2002.
The fire started when a collection box was doused with petrol and then set alight. Flames eventually spread to the pastor’s residence. Only the intervention of the fire department and volunteers prevented the blaze from causing major damages to the two buildings. Rev Aben thanked villagers, including “some Muslims,” who came to rescue, playing a decisive role in preventing the fire from spreading.
Yesterday, two car bombs also exploded near a police traffic post, wounding three people, including two police agents on duty at the time. Investigators believe the post was the target.
“The terrorist group used a sophisticated device in which they detonated the bomb remotely through a mobile handset,” one agent said.
In recent weeks, Poso has been the scene of renewed sectarian violence. The port city has seen attacks against Christian-owned buildings, including places of worship.