2005 Indonesian beheadings of Christian girls

On October 30, 2005, three Christian girls: Theresia Morangke (15), Alfita Poliwo (17), and Yarni Sambue (17), were beheaded by Muslimjihadists in Poso on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, an area plagued by sectarian violence since 2001.[1] The attackers planned the beheadings after visiting the Philippines. In 2006, three men were arrested and in 2007 convicted of the crime, one being sentenced to 20 years in prison and the others to 14 years.

. . . 2005 Indonesian beheadings of Christian girls . . .

Central Sulawesi experienced a lot of Muslim-Christian violence in the late 20th and early 21st century. The most serious violence, Poso riots, occurred between 1998 and into 2000. Over 1,000 people were killed in riots, and tens of thousands were expelled from their homes.[2] After a period of relative calm, hostilities were reignited by rumors that a Muslim girl had been raped by a Christian man. Thousands of Muslims and Christians were killed in cold blood during the following year, and more than 60,000 families are reported to have fled their homes in the process.[3]

The Malinopeace accord was signed in 2001 and produced a dramatic decline in violence, but in the following years, tension and systematic attacks persisted.[2] In 2003, 13 Christians were killed in the Poso District by unknown masked gunmen.[2] In May 2005, a bombing in the nearby town of Tentena, killed 22 people and injured more than 30.[4] Days after the killings, two 17-year-old schoolgirls were shot in the same area.[5]

Christian community leaders have repeatedly criticized the authorities for allegedly not doing enough to find the perpetrators of attacks on Christians in Sulawesi.[6]

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