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Intan Olivia

A preschool-aged girl (2.5 years old) has died from injuries after an attack took place at a church on the island of Borneo. Little Intan Olivia was severely burned when an attacker threw petrol bombs at a group of small children playing outside Oikumene Church in Samarinda on November 13th. Three of Intan's young friends -- Alvaro (4), Triniti (3), and Anita (2) -- were also badly burned.

Police arrested a 32-year-old suspect after he was captured by local people following the attack. The police stated that the attacker was imprisoned in the past on terrorism charges. He has been identified as a militant linked to local extremists supporting the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group.

"The man passed by the church and threw what we suspected (were) low-explosive cocktail bombs, causing injuries to four children who were playing there," local police spokesman Fajar Setiawan reported. Police say the attacker was wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the word "jihad." The spokesperson added that "Intan suffered extensive burn injuries and respiratory problems, and doctors could not save her."

Indonesia, which has the world's largest Muslim population, is also home to significant numbers of Christians, Hindus and Buddhists. The country has suffered a series of attacks inspired by the ISIS militant group in recent times. Additional reports on persecution in this country are available at the Indonesia Country Report.

Please uphold Intan's grieving family and other members of this victimized Christian community, asking the Lord to comfort and strengthen them in their shock and sorrow. Also intercede for the three young children who thankfully survived the attack yet were hospitalized because of the seriousness of their injuries. May they fully recover -- not only physically but also from the emotional trauma. Pray that this church fellowship will be able to safely meet for worship services so they can encourage one another in the faith. May their witness continue to reach many, including those who currently oppose the Gospel.

Country Information

Designation
Persecuted

Population
275,122,131 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Javanese (40.1), Sundanese (15.5), Malay (3.7), Balak (3.6), Madurese (3), Betawi (2.9), Minangkabau (2.7), Buginese (2.7), Bantenese (2), Other (23.8)

Religion (%)
Muslim (87.2), Christian (9.9), Hindu (1.7), Other (0.9), Unspecified (0.4)

Leader
President Joko Widodo (2014)

Government type
Presidential republic

Legal system
Civil law system based on the Roman-Dutch model and influenced by customary law

Sources: CIA World Factbook.

Pray for Indonesia

Pray for the continued growth of the church in Indonesia, despite the intense opposition and persecution that has taken place. May the destructive plans of the enemy to eradicate Christianity be frustrated and nullified.

Pray that whatever is intended for evil, God will turn around for good -- causing such hatred and violence to not only discredit extremism, but to also compel many to seek salvation in Christ... including the perpetrators of persecution.

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