In the same place where four believers were decapitated and burned alive in November 2020, Open Doors were told yesterday by their Indonesia allies that four men were decapitated by Islamist extremists.

According to the report, the four men who were murdered were residents of Kalimago village, and they were executed by assailants that are thought to be members of the same terrorist organization that targeted Sigi village six months ago. The victims' ages were estimated between 42 and 61 years.

"Central Sulawesi locals are still traumatized from the terrorist attack in Sigi last November and have not recovered yet," says Ari Hartono, an Open Doors local associate. "They need our prayers now."

Hartono noted that the assault came as a blow to believers in Central Sulawesi.

Although the militant organization, suspected to be East Indonesia Mujahdin, was the first Indonesian group to pledge allegiance to the Islamic State group in 2014 and the victims were believers, it's unclear whether the assault was religiously inspired. Ari speculated that it might be an act of survival.

"After the Sigi incident, the terrorists in Central Sulawesi have been increasingly pressed by the police and the army. Their logistics are exhausted. The only way to survive is to rob people of foodstuffs. In this area, there are many farmers who live in the forest far from the village, and they were the ones targeted by the terrorists," he said.

According to Open Doors, their local partners are now actively reaching out to churches and victims of the families in Kalimago village. Since the day of the attack, their partners have walked with traumatized believers in Sigi village. Meanwhile, Brother Ari requests prayers for the Central Sulawesi region. The basic prayer points he shared is as follows.

  • "Pray for church leaders in the village, pray for the victims' families and also pray for the police and army, that they can protect all people in that village."
  • "Pray for Madago Raya Task Force as they are hunting this terrorist group."
  • "Pray for protection over God's people in Poso and Central Sulawesi. Pray for His angels to encamp surround His people and deliver them from any evil scheme."

The threat remains as long as these terrorists are not apprehended. People are reluctant to go to their fields, thus they are unable to work and grow crops. This could economically cripple them, Ari said.

  • "Pray also that we can connect with the families of the victims. Pray for the peace of God to cover this area."

Ari said that while fear and intimidation are attempting to seize control over people's hearts, God's power is greater. He hopes for the believers to be reminded of that fact.

As Open Doors learned of the brutal attacks on four believers in Sigi Village in November las year, their partners raced to the region and spent days attending the men's funerals, praying with the people, speaking with them, and verbally voicing their continuing solidarity for the help and relief that would soon arrive.

Their partners have tirelessly walked alongside these villagers since the aggression by conducting "trauma counseling, persecution awareness seminars," and a workshop for Sunday school teachers. They've also spent time specifically with traumatized children who were eyewitness to the killing. Kandi, a believer, appreciated the initiative as her two young sons saw their father and grandparents being murdered.