On Oct.27, The Voice of the Martyrs contacts reported nearly 1,000 Arastamar Bible school students face eviction from a West Jarkata Mayors office building where they were living temporarily, in Indonesia.
The day before the High Court of West Jakarta’s eviction notice, local government authorities cut off electricity and water to the site and this led to the student demonstrations. “That day … a thousand students were demonstrating outside of the building and making [a barricade with their bodies] to prevent the police troops, local government security troops, and High Court officials from going into the building and destroying the building,” VOM contacts said.
When the police attempted to evict the students, the students blocked the road and a riot ensued. “ The riot was begun when some people from the back row of police troops [threw] stones against the students then the students repelled it with throwing plastic chairs and stones against the police troops,” VOM contacts added. “We were pulled in among the police then they beat us. We had said don’t beating us, but they didn’t care,” said one of the students who was arrested by the police.
In July 2008, hundreds of Muslim extremists attacked the Bible school shouting “Allahu Akbar,” (God is greater), and throwing Molotov cocktails at the building. The extremists then attacked the students with acid and machetes as they were being evacuated from the burning buildings. The staff and students from the Bible school’s campus were forced into temporary shelters all over the city including a camp ground in Kampung Pulo village.
The Voice of the Martyrs has actively supported the students with resources following the eviction. Earlier this year, VOM’s Executive Director, Dr. Tom White visited the students at the campground, and encouraged them. The October newsletter features pictures and testimonies from Arastmar students gathered during this visit and more pictures will be in the December newsletter. Pray the students will be encouraged and protection. Praise God for their unwavering support.