AP Images/Slamet Riyadi
Suspected Islamists were
behind the burning of three homes used as churches on Sumatra Island’s
Riau Province this month, though a political motive may also have played
a role, Christian leaders said.
Muslim mobs burned the
meeting places of a Batak Karo Protestant Church (GBKP) congregation and
a Pentecostal Church in Indonesia (GPDI) group on Aug. 1, and that of a
Methodist Church of Indonesia on Aug. 2, all in Kuantan Singingi
Provincial GBKP leader Sahat Tarigan reportedly
said about 100 people on motorcycles arrived at the home at 11 p.m. on
Aug. 1, throwing stones, threatening church members with knives and
ultimately pouring gasoline and setting it on fire. A number of church
members were inside painting at the time of the attack, but there were
no casualties, Tarigan told Radio 68H News Agency.