Crossing the Bridge

Maluku Operation Rescue Underway

REPORT — February 2, 2001

MALUKU OPERATION RESCUE UNDERWAY


Assisting in the Evacuation of Thousands of Persecuted Christians from the Maluku Islands


Due to the urgent need we have launched an emergency campaign to assist in the evacuation of thousands of Christians from the Maluku Islands where lives have already been lost at the hands of the Laskar Jihad warriors. ICC will be working with a network of Christian pastors and leaders on the ground in Indonesia. Coordinating the effort for ICC will be a pastor from Indonesia who is established in the capital of Jakarta. He has issued the following report outlying the needs. ICC is asking for financial help to see that this project is launched IMMEDIATELY. We are committed to applying 100% of all the funds raised for this campaign to the rescue effort.


CREDIT CARD DONATIONS CAN BE MADE ONLINE AT www.www.persecution.org/donation
or checks may be sent to:



International Christian Concern
2020 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, NO. 941
Washington, D.C. 20006-1846


Report on people needing to be rescued
(Note* Some names and places have been altered or substituted to protect lives and future rescue operations)



Following many recent reports of forced conversions to Islam, with forced circumcisions of men, women and children in several parts of the Maluku islands. The island of Kesui, southeast of Ambon, has received considerable international attention. There are, however, many other similar incidents, on an even larger scale with thousands being subjected to circumcision or genital mutilation by the Jihad warriors. As the Jihad warriors, often supported by Indonesian military units, have conducted these attacks, the Christian communities have been terrorized and subjected to horrific degradations of their humanity and human rights. One woman, named Sutarsi Selong, on June 19, 2000 in Duma, when she saw the military attacking alongside the Jihad warriors cried out, "O Lord, help us!" The soldier said, "I'll show you how God helps you". He placed his pistol in her mouth and shot her. The angle of the barrel meant that half her face was blown off as she collapsed to the ground. Miraculously she has survived. Bone from her forearm has been taken to replace her cheekbone and is waiting plastic surgery to complete her medical recovery.


Many pastors have been slain protecting their sheep. One, Pastor Patiasina, was caught by the Jihad along with 1718 other Christians on Lata-lata. The Jihad said that all would be slain if the pastors did not identify themselves. Pastor Patiasina came forward with three of his elders. They were promptly beheaded. The rest of the Christians were force-circumcised. Some villages have now lived under this reign of terror for 12 months, others only 7 months. Since all Christians who refused to surrender have been slain, fighting in those areas has ceased. The Christians in those villages have been unable to leave due to lack of transportation facilities and being kept under Islamic rule. However, some Christians who "converted" have managed to escape and have brought reports along with one pastor's letter written by Pastor Anon in the Malukus on January 21, 2001. The letter received just a few days warned that due to the military about to be withdrawn during February, since 'peace' has been 'restored', all are in grave danger of being massacred. His letter reads:





21 January 2001

Greetings of Peace in the Love of the Lord Jesus Christ.


With respect, With this letter we convey to the Chairman. That we here are full of suffering so we are looking to you with this request for help. If you still know us as Sheep, Please help us so that we can escape from this danger. And if you can help please don't be late, no later that the Month of February as beyond that date we will probably be dead because the Military will leave our village. So we hope that you will come quickly. That is our plea.


Pastor Anon


These Christians living in this terror urgently need to be evacuated to safe areas. Who can they turn to? Who will hear their cry? Villages in the Malukus needing to be evacuated


Village 1 - 1835
Village 2 - 1715
Village 3 - 2620
Village 4 - 315
Village 5 - 159
Village 6 - 115
Village 7 - 230
Village 8 - 72
TOTAL NEEDING EVACUATION - 7061 people


Where can they be evacuated to?



To the city of Hope, the Christian stronghold in northern Sulawesi with a population of 200,000.


How will they be evacuated?



By hiring boats to transport them from their current villages, with police and/or naval escort.


Who is overseeing the operation?



Three community leaders: Pastor F., Dr. H., and Mr. L. These men along with a number of other officials are extremely concerned for the fate of these 7061 Christians and are willing to risk their own lives to save them. They just need the resources to be able to act.


Costs involved in evacuating 7061 people



The costs to evacuate these 7061 people involves their transportation and then food and accommodation for 6 months until they can establish themselves.
a. Transportation - USD$2250 per trip x 22 boat trips = $49,500
b. Food for 6 months @ USD$0-60 per head per day = $762,588
c. Emergency shelters @ UDS$250 per family
x 1425 families = $356,250
TOTAL COSTS INVOLVED IN EVACUATION = $1,168,338
We are called to count the cost before embarking on any project. Our emotions cry out that we want to help these people, but the transportation is the cheapest aspect. Because of Indonesia's economic and political crises there is no possibility of government help.


What are our options?



Our choices are as follows and we must count the cost of our actions.


OPTION 1: We commit to evacuate them and are willing to pay the full price.
OPTION 2: We evacuate village by village according to available funding (i.e. sufficient for transportation, food and accommodation), selecting priorities and praying that we are making the correct choices.
OPTION 3: We leave them where they are and pray that nothing happens.


We are unwilling to evacuate people, thereby offering them hope, if only to leave them without food and possible starvation and without shelter. Although the goal is full and total evacuation of all these tortured and endangered Christians, unless there is a miracle of supply, at the very least we need to have a responsible program and begin by putting Option 2 into operation. As funds are available, we evacuate village by village. This whole process is quite traumatic as one does not enjoy having to make decisions which will seriously affect the life and death of thousands. Your participation in this emergency relief will help us in taking decisive action to rescue these saints.


Yours in Christ's service,
a Pastor from Indonesia

Tags: Saudi Arabia, Press Releases, Indonesia