Sukarnoputri, who has seemed more interestedrnin improving her standing withrnthe MusHm poHtical parties than in preventingrnMushm fundamentahsts fromrnkilHng Christians.rnA retired general, who wished to remainrnanonymous, beHeves that there arernonly a few “fanatic Muslims” in thernarmy’s leadership, so Wahid simplyrn”needs to replace them.” But Lobulisa isrnmore pessimistic: “We have changed therntop management of the military and thernpolice already three times.” A militaryrnspokesman. Rear Air Marshall GraitornUsodo, says it is “inevitable” that soldiersrnwould “act emotionally” and disobeyrnorders. Even President Wahid, saidrnone Christian leader, admitted to himrnin a private meeting that “it was veryrnhard.” Wliile he can give a command, “itrndoesn’t reach the grass roots.”rnSome political factions don’t want tornsolve the conflict. Many Christians assumernthat enemies of Wahid, includingrnone-time Suharto allies, are attemptingrnto use the Moluccan conflict to destabilizernthe government. One Christianrnleader opined that the attacks in thernMoluccas were “an attack on” Wahid.rnSome in authorit)’ share his fears. DefensernMinister Juwono believed thatrnSuharto “cronies” were at work, perhapsrnin an attempt to create sufficient chaos tornprevent them from being called to accountrnfor their crimes.rnWhat do they hope to gain? TjahyonornTri, the grounds manager at DoulosrnBible School —destroyed in Decemberrn1999 by a Muslim mob —believes thatrnsome of those supporting this “thinkrnmaybe they can become leaders.” Therngoal for others “is to make this a Muslimrncountry.” Several Christians particularlyrnfear the latter goal. One professorrnclaimed: “They are trying to put pressurernon parliament. They want hidonesia tornbecome an Islamic state. They want tornchange the constitution.”rnThe violence is spreading throughoutrnthe entire country. Jihad groups have attempted,rnwith varying success, to inflamernattacks on Christians in Bali, Sulawesi,rnand West Timor.rnThroughout the country, some 100rnM O V I N G ?rnSend ciiange of address and thernmailing label from your latest issue to:rnCHRONICLES Subscription Dept.rnP.O. Box 800, Mount Morris, IL 61054rnchurches were burned in 1998 and 1999.rnChristians are not safe even in Jakarta,rnthe nation’s capital. “They hate Christians,rnbecause the number of Christiansrnis growing. Muslims are converting.rnThey feel Christians are threatening theirrnreligion,” explains Robert Lesnussa, arnBible teacher.rnIn the winter of 1999, thousands ofrnMuslims descended upon Doidos, arnseminary and hospital. The riotersrnwrecked the facilities and killed a 23-rnyear-old student named Sarimam. Twornother students almost died, and anotherrn30 were injured. “There was no reason,”rnsaid Lesnussa, who explained that thern395 students had good relations withrntheir neighbors. But months earlier, arnHezbollah group had threatened to destroyrntiie facilih’. A month before the attack,rnDoulos was vilified in a localrnmosque because it allegedly sought torn”Christianize the Muslims in Indonesia.”rnThe biuldings remain ruins, burntrnbeams amid concrete rubble. There is nornformal legal justification to block rebuilding,rnbut the government tpically refusesrnpermission in the face of threats from surroundingrnMuslims. “There is no solutionrnfor Christians,” Lesnussa observes. “If yournrebuild, many people will die.”rnEven viewing the ruins wasn’t simple.rn”The situation here is not good,” saidrnLesnussa, as darkness descended. “Wernshouldn’t stay too late. This area is notrnsafe.” In fact, several churches werernburned in Jakarta last year. Some perceivernthe military’s hand in the riots.rn”Normal people won’t do stuff like this,”rnargued one Christian.rnThe fear is palpable. “Christian villagesrnhave been burned down. Peoplernhave fled to the mountains. They havernno hope. That’s why we need help,” saysrnLobulisa. A group of Christians—educators,rnjournalists, pastors, retired military,rnand businessmen —met in Jakarta to talkrnwith me and two other American visitorsrnabout rising persecution, but they insistedrnon not publicizing the meeting. Onernpolitely observed at the start, “the situationrnis ver)’ difficult.” But emotions soonrnrose, prompting another almost to shout,rn”people are crying for help.”rnThey offered a series of horror stories:rna son murdered, neighbors killed, villagesrnuprooted, churches and schoolsrnburned—all with the complicit}’ of therngovernment and security forces.rnDespair is a natural reaction. As a formerrngeneral turned religious leader putrnit, “Because of the Moluccas, Christiansrnfeel they really can’t rely too much on therncentral government. Despite all of thernpromises, no good has been done. It isrngetting worse.”rnA coalition of churches, ranging fromrnCatholic to Pentecostal, have called for arnmass evacuation of Christians by thernU.N. high commissioner for refugeesrnand the introduction of peacekeepingrnforces by the United Nations.rnThe people whom I met were unitedrnin little other than a desire that the UnitedrnStates do something. All agreed thatrnthe Jihad warriors need to be removed.rnSome would prefer to substitute policernfor army forces; others hope that the militan,’rnmight play a genuine peacekeepingrnrole. As a Christian professor noted, “wernmust force the Indonesian armed forcesrnto do something.” The only way they canrnsee that happening is “intervention fromrnoutside,” as one participant put it. ArnChristian journalist explained: “We wantrnaction from the United States. Or actionrnfrom other Western coimtries, from thernUnited Nations.”rnA senior editor at a Christian newspaperrnsaid that “America shoifld do somethingrnas it is responsible,” because of itsrnpast support for Suharto. The head of arnreligious institute similarly argued thatrn”America and the Western countries havernto contribute concrete action to stop thesernactions.” Another spoke of “moral supportrnand pressure, strong pressure.” Somernwanted an investigation from outside.rnThe leader of a Christian lunbrella grouprnsuggested an embargo; others feared thatrnit would hurt Christians the most.rnAll of the participants wanted morernthan just words. One proposed sendingrnin hiunanitarian workers and observers,rnparticularly the International Red Cross,rna suggestion which others criticized forrnnot being “realistic.” But an evangelistrnwanted the Red Cross to be a tripwire: “Ifrnthe International Red Cross came, thernMuslims would be afraid to kill them. Ifrnthey murdered someone from the IRC,rnthe’U.N. would not allow it. The U.N.rnwould put troops in to stop it.” Othersrnwere more skeptical of the United Nation’srnlikely response.rnA gentleman whose son had beenrnrrTurdered pointed to Kosovo. “Yournsought permission of the government afterrnmore than a million people died inrnSudan. Wliy didn’t you drop bombs onrnthe damn people in Khartoum?” Hernwould “welcome” Kosovo-like interventionrnin Indonesia.rnOthers also saw Kosovo as a model.rn40/CHRONICLESrnrnrn