PAPUA, Indonesia — Police in late May thwarted an Islamic terrorist plot to attack several churches and assassinate a leading church minister in Indonesia’s Christian-majority Papua province.
On May 28, local police and members of the Densus 88 counterterrorism squad arrested at least 10 suspects believed to be linked to Jamaah Ansharut Daulah. JAD has ties to the Islamic State terrorist group.
A police spokesman said suspects not only revealed suicide bombing plans targeting churches in four locations but also two previous suicide bombing attempts aimed at a particular church leader in Papua.
On Palm Sunday, 19 people were injured when two JAD suicide bombers blew themselves up outside a church on Sulawesi island.
Another terrorist group with ties to the Islamic State, Eastern Indonesia Mujahideen, killed four Christian farmers on a coffee plantation May 11 in Central Sulawesi province.
Indonesia, which has the world’s largest Muslim population, is No. 47 on Open Doors’ 2021 World Watch List of places most difficult to be a Christian.