The details are difficult to report and read. In one day, four men—all leaders of families and the small community—were dead. Our Open Doors partners tell us that three men were violently beheaded; another was burned alive in his house. Armed with knives and guns, eight to 10 men from the Islamic terrorist group East Indonesia Mujahidin (MIT) entered the village around 8 am. They torched and destroyed six other homes, a makeshift church and a Salvation Army outpost—leaving 13 families grieving and traumatized in Lemban Tongoa village.
Across the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation, the group has pledged allegiance to Islamic State. Survivors of the attack told our partners the men were murdered in front of their family members. In a public statement, Salvation Army General Brian Peddle reinforced the attack as religiously motivated, offering condolences to the “victims of evil” and the “families of those whose faith have caused such harm.”
He asked for worldwide prayer for the “continuing witness of our people.”
Watch the video our partners brought back from their time with Lemban Tongoa villagers. Warning: The video and account below contain graphic details that may be difficult for some readers: