A CHRISTIAN church leader was stabbed in the stomach and a reverend was beaten up in an attack on a group of worshippers in Indonesia yesterday.
The Christian church leaders were attacked as they prayed in a field in Bekasi, West Java, the Jakarta Globe reported.
The attack followed tension between the congregation and Islamic extremists in the region.
The hard-line religious group the Islamic Defenders Front (FDI) and Bakasi Mayor Mochtar Mohammad even prevented the Christian congregation from holding religious services in their local church, which was sealed shut.
The group to was instead forced to hold services in a field.
Saor Siagian, a lawyer representing the Batak Christian Protestant Church’s (HKBP) Pondok Timur Indah congregation, told the newspaper that the church leaders were stabbed by unknown motorcyclists during yesterday’s service.
“[Congregation leader] Sihombing was leading the congregation for Sunday Mass when he was stabbed by someone riding a motorcycle,” Mr Saor said, adding that Reverend Luspida Simandjuntak was also assaulted.
In August, a group calling itself the Jaya Muslim Forum (FUI) injured eight members of the Christian congregation in another attack.
“Since then, members always go in groups for Sunday prayers,” said Mr Saor. “Sihombing was leading one of the groups when the stabbing occurred.”
Sihombing was taken to a local hospital in serious condition.
The Jakarta Post reported that police have since arrested two as-yet unnamed people in relation to the attack.