OCMC News | March 19, 2007

Crisis in Indonesia

The Metropolitanate of Hong Kong and Southeast Asia (Ecumenical Patriarchate) wishes to issue the following statement, concerning situations in Indonesia.

The Orthodox Christians in Indonesia have joined the list of those attacked by Muslim extremists. Father Methodios Sri Gunarjo, his family and other Orthodox were terrorized and threatened this past weekend. Although there are no reports of physical harm at this point, the verbal, psychological and other forms of abuse continue. At one point, a knife was put to the throat of Father Methodios, as his attackers demanded that he close the Churches in the Boyolali area of Central Java. It should be noted that there is a thriving ministry in this area.

A large group of Muslim protestors has gathered in the Church area and continues making demands upon Father Methodios and the Church community. The attackers are not from Boyolali, as local Christians and Muslims have joined in showing their support for Father Methodios, who is noted for the love and compassion he has shown all people in the area. Father Methodios and his family have been forced to leave their home, as their lives have now been threatened. The attackers have also promised to purge the area of Christians.

Metropolitan Nikitas has not been able to contact Father Methodios directly, although he is in constant communication with other clergy in Indonesia. He has requested that people pray for peace and an end to the violence and attacks upon the Church community.