House-Church Burning

Sep 9th, 2006, in News, by

A house used as a church in Aceh was burned to the ground by a mob.

There are two reports of the event, one each from Sinar Harapan newspaper (via Kristiani Pos) and an international report from Compass Direct.

The first report tells that a house used as a church in the village of Siopin, Suro district, Aceh Singkil, near the border with North Sumatera, was burned down on Friday, 1st September at around 10pm.

The reason given for the attack is that although construction of a “proper” church had already been completed local Christians continued to use their temporary church, a house, for services. Additionally, something said by the pastor of the church was believed to have upset some people.

The other report, from Compass Direct, which does not cite its sources, and which we are assuming is about the same event, says that the pastor of the church, Luther Saragih, had sent out a letter to several villages in Aceh Singkil inviting Christians to attend a revival service. A Muslim resident is said to have somehow received a copy of the letter and then proceeded to edit it, making it appear that Muslims were invited to the service. He then distributed his own version of the letter to 3,000 Muslims. According to one “local source”, the police knew that this was happening but made no attempt to restrain the man.

500 Christians arrived to take part in the service, along with a large crowd of Muslims, apparently angered by the (fake) letter. The police arrived and local Muslim leaders argued for several minutes with police, and eventually Saragih was taken to the police station. There the police scolded the pastor for organizing the event and ordered him to cancel it and send people home.

The service was cancelled and people returned home. Later that night, at 10pm, a convoy of two trucks and 50 motorcycles arrived outside the church, with over 100 litres of gasoline in tow. Witnesses said there were over 100 men present, many of them carrying swords. The mob poured gasoline over the building and set fire to it; they also attempted to burn a second building that was used as a church kindergarten.

Saragih, who had that afternoon been allowed to go home by the police, and his pregnant wife Netty, fled into the jungle and took refuge among Christians in neighbouring North Sumatra province.

May 21st 2007. The congregation from this church continues to hold prayer meetings in their homes while waiting for the completion of a new church building. Interview with the pastor at

25 Comments on “House-Church Burning”

  1. Molisan Tono says:

    may God forgive them, otherwise, let God send down His wrath for these lunatics.

    Indonesia worth to had God wrath. Indonesia is doing nothing everytime minority had problem with their existance. why???

  2. Miss Indo 07 says:

    well, happened and happened and happened, until when?

  3. Miss Indo 07 says:

    Oh, and happening too.

  4. Anonymous_aloy says:

    Worrying signs indeed.

  5. Rockstar says:

    It is just sad.

    No matter how you look at it, this is obviously wrong.

    Aside from this case, our gov has failed to protect the minors from time to time. The slogan “from, to and by the people” is nothing but just a meaningless slogan.

    Our gov should think why people start migrating to other countries? There is something wrong going on. And that something has been around forever.

  6. Andrew says:

    God will forgive them – but will also remind them again – like He did in December 2004.

  7. Molisan Tono says:

    yeah. let God do His part now. this time will be much bigger… lot more lunatics is better… lot more crazy people vanish from this earth.

  8. kharis karisman says:

    Thelast line in the report is not correct. Since koranic law was introduced in Aceh, closing down and burning churches has become a passtime for people in South Aceh. Out of 22 churches in that regency only five are left now. “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they do.”

  9. Aditya says:

    actually that’s so simple to handle. Indonesia is a law nation, so let’s the law take their part. but………. the worst thing is law allready interupted.

  10. Molisan Tono says:

    yeah interupted by sharia law

  11. Hassan says:

    you guys are unbelievable andrew & Molisan Tono :

    “God will forgive them – but will also remind them again – like He did in December 2004.”

    “let God do His part now. this time will be much bigger”¦ lot more lunatics is better”¦ lot more crazy people vanish from this earth.”

    you’re playing God now? you prayed for Indonesia to receive more catastrophe like the aceh tsunami? yeah, let 200.000 more people die because some people burned down an illegal church (illegally, I know). that’s a fair price, eh?

    ahh, I know, only Christian lives and churches are worthy. the non Christian lives are worthless, right? you guys always blamed those Islamic fanatics, but you’re not any better than those guys. with the words you have said, you guys deserved to be called fanatical.

    so this is what fanatical (lunatical) Christians do. they backstab our country with ‘punish them’ prayers. you have to admit, asking God to kill hundreds of thousands of people for a building IS lunatical.

    go ahead, ask God to send natural disasters till kingdom come, send our country to the stone ages, then we’ll see where you will live. I know, you’ll be running to mainland China, your ancestral home. less lunatical Christians the better.

    I don’t condone church burning, but i hate people who played God even more.

  12. Andrew says:

    Hassan, tell me who’s playing God here?

    Lunatical? fanatical? look who’s talking… and oh, you turn out to be a racist, too.

  13. Andrew says:

    …and one more thing:

    You said you know enough about Christianity, but you don’t seem to grasp the fundamental principle here. When I pray, I ask God to forgive them, I don’t pray for God to punish them.

    BUT, I know He will if He needs to.

  14. Molisan Tono says:

    talking about illegal and legal… Indonesia is major country with major Moslem community… Islam : Christian is equal to 7:1,5… I guess… never mind that.

    let’s talk about number 7. how many mosque in Indonesia has legal permit to stand? how many legal paper were printed to legalize that building… I believe it’s about 2. what about the rest of 5? illegal mosque…

    now, why mosques are not torn down apart and burned? hey it’s most Moslem country remember…

    about the prayer… chill out Hassan… it’s all about prayer. we don’t attack like your people do. I have seen many times on TV, as soon your people finish Friday Prayer… they can easily jump off trucks and attack or burn churches or other people facilities… so once again, chill out, we just pray not attacking. is that fair to you mate? or should God Him self ask you about the fairness?

    i remember told you about Indonesian ancestor once… while you in your smart ass school bench, have you ever learn where the hell our ancestor came from? it’s Yunan, do you know where yunan located my friend?

    before port your comment, learn about your history Hassan, you at least got “Chinese” bloodline there… ofcourse like i posted before, if you believe your ancestor was a monkey according to Charles Darwin.

  15. Miss Indo 07 says:

    Hassan once said I’m a racist

  16. Hassan says:

    Miss Indo 07: and comments by Molisan Tono are not racistic in nature?? I was just doing my usual ‘payback time’ method.

    Molisan Tono: yeah I know where all of us came from, yunan is in China right? but really, we are all descendants of adam.

    the difference is that we, the pribumi, believe that Indonesia is our one and only home. if it goes in flame, we will go down with it. never in our minds that we will return to yunan someday, or when the goings gets tough here. but some (not all) immigrants think that China is their second home, and will run back there when they choose to. and some of them (not all) thinks that they are much better then the rest of us.

    some of those people thought of Indonesia as only a place where they do business, not their home. they don’t care whatever sh*t is happening in Indonesia, they don’t care if this place sunk down to the bottom of the ocean, or struck by tsunamis (as you hoped will happen in your prayers) for instance.

    if you’re not one of them, I have no beef with you. actually, I just don’t like it when some people hoped bad things to happen to Indonesia, as a token of my nationalism.


  17. Molisan Tono says:

    this is what sounding weird and hurt most of minor Hassan. don’t you think we as minor society also has same rights like native people.

    it’s true my color was brighter than native people, my eyes different than yours maybe, but I have same region birth place. i ate same rice, i sing same national song and i even kiss a rotten dirty Indonesian national flag. it’s all to show how much i love Indonesia. and you know what, i even have legal paper that show me a citizen of Indonesia, which I belive you don’t have it… right? it’s happen to us that native people think they deserve more than us. why? is that because we are different? Nusantara (not Indonesia) not used to be like this racist. I never heard nusantara had problem with Chinese decendant before.

    we think China is second option, not home, why? we have same color which is much more acceptable than our origin birth place. like I said, it’s racist issue your native people spreading away… we don’t really think we are supperior than other native people, it’s your people who think like wise, it’s because they are lazy and we are not, the more success we gain, more painful to their business future. this is what start all the problems.

    it is the place you grow Hassan, literally speaking of business issue. if you don’t do business, what you earn for your needs? we do business in Indonesia because we born here. don’t you think we also care if our business collaps because of nature disaster? don’t you know that we also carry same burden like others? why are you so narrow minded? why are those people outside like you so stupidly thinking we don’t care?

    look which country doctor most helping tsunami disaster in aceh? it’s China. we all care because we are human, same red blood flowing in our vain. listen carefully and think deep Hassan, we are not spreading hatreth to you and other native people, we just do what we think the best. not only stand still and hoping other hand to fill our needs. you will never find lazy people who get success in life mate.


  18. Hassan says:

    Molisan Tono: “it’s because they are lazy and we are not” well, I believe those were racistic words, and stereotypical in nature. you do know that not all natives are lazy, and not all Indonesian with Chinese ethnicity are not lazy, do you?

    “why are those people outside like you so stupidly thinking we don’t care?” tono, if you DO care, then DON’T hope bad things to happen to our country, specially about the wiping out of “lunatics”.

    “let God do His part now. this time will be much bigger”¦ lot more lunatics is better”¦ lot more crazy people vanish from this earth.”

    hey, isn’t calling people of other faith as “lunatics” an act of racism??

    as I said, as long as your allegiance stands here in Indonesia, an not in China, then we’re fine.

  19. Ronald says:

    both are lunatic. The one who invited other faiths to attend the service in church and the ones who burnt the church. I’m sick of the view agressive Protestants and of view narrow minded Muslims as well as of the corruptors.
    They make our country suffer. why can’t we just concentrate on how well we do what God tell us to do. Amen. God Bless Indonesia

  20. Miss Indo 07 says:

    Agree with Ronald, as i told before right? Fanatics are just bad, no matter what religion it is.
    no hard feeling mates,but i see a lot of Christians friends try to ask me to go to their church,
    n sum of other Christian friends complaint about some stranger try to grab their church’s people,
    church is inside u,no matter which church u attend,
    it just depend on ur faith,
    but for Hassan,dont u ever try to understand our feeling? hoe the minority is always pressed in our country?
    we are cursed bcoz notabene we r richer than the pribumi,
    haven’t u seen the Chinese Indonesian in singkawang?
    havent u seen the poor Chinese Indonesian who dont have money to eat?
    and dont u see the pribumi,our government n pejabat who also steeling our money n our tax?
    it’s just not fair,that they always blame Chinese,
    if u answer honestly inside ur heart, I believe u can see the fact,i can see fro ur comments that u’r not a stupid person,n I believe u can see that if there’s a church burnt,than it’s just alright,but if there’s a mosque thrown with a rock,then all the people will make a lot of complaints n everything,
    hmm,btw,I have to go now,so,I’ll stop my curhat here ^^
    c u guys,

  21. sam says:

    Hi all, I am the one among 4 people that attended the church that was burnt out, just pray for them and ask for forgiveness for all the people who burnt the church.

  22. Miss Indo 07 says:

    Hi Sam, I’m sorry to hear about what happened 2 your church.

  23. Raden says:

    Bro & sis, don’t worry, God already angry & will send many & bigger Tsunami to Acehnese, as the more they will burn the churches there.

  24. Sam says:

    The vilalge, Singkil, is far away from Meulaboh and the tsunami did’nt hit this city, but the latest news that I recieve from Saragih (the pastor), police had arrest the people who burnt this church and now they have built again the church.

  25. Janma says:

    God has nothing to do with natural disasters. God doesn’t kill people, God doesn’t judge people. God is not limited by our belief of right and wrong, life and death, high and low, chinese and malay, west and east. God has bigger fish to fry. It’s not all about us you see.

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