March 20, 2012
Christians in Horale, Indonesia have won a lengthy battle over the ownership of their village against neighboring Muslims who virtually razed it to the ground nearly four years ago, ASSIST News Service reports. In May 2008, Horale was destroyed in an attack by a Muslim mob from the nearby village of Saleman, who burned down 120 houses, three churches, the village school and acres of crops, killed four Christians and injured 56. One week later, the Saleman Muslims brought a legal challenge over the ownership of Horale, claiming the land was part of their territory. A county-level court ruled in favor of the Saleman villagers and the Christians appealed to the provincial court, which overturned the verdict, prompting the Muslims to take the matter to the Supreme Court. "[The Supreme Court] has now ruled that the 10 square miles in question rightfully belongs to the Christian residents," according to Barnabas Fund, which has helped finance the reconstruction of Horale, assisting in rebuilding the damaged churches and providing other resources for the villagers.