Despite being a “Christian” province, West Papua, Indonesia has been experiencing heightened Christian persecution.
Christian Today reports that though the majority of people living in West Papua are Christians, ever since the government took control of the area in 1963, reports of Christian persecution have been surfacing.
The majority of Indonesians are Muslims, and there are reports of Muslim persecution of Christians.
"The Indonesians want to replace the Christian religion with Islam,” says a report by an Australian Catholic organization. "Many mosques are being built everywhere. They want Papua to be a Javanese Malay nation. Radicalisation is happening in Papua, with some militias very active near the border with PNG. They burn down the Papuan houses. They are recruited as illegal loggers. Their camps and logging are well protected by the military."
The persecution charity Open Doors has similarly stated that Muslims in Indonesia generally do not like tolerating Christian faith.
"Newer evangelical churches... began to hold mass religious rallies, locally known as KKRs, in public places. Often these meetings featured testimonies from Muslim converts. Muslim residents objected to the KKRs and responded by publicly questioning basic tenets of the Christian faith, such as the divinity of Jesus, further compounding tensions."
There has been a movement in West Papua to gain independence from the rest of Indonesia. The persecution of Christians adds to this effort.
Publication date: March 11, 2016