Martyrs who prayed for peace: Ruslam and Arifin 2003
On the evening of Saturday 29 November 2003 two Christians, Ruslam and Arifin, were murdered at a church service in Tabamawo, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, where the worshippers were praying for peace just as Islamic militants descended on the building.
The militants fired their guns through the door and into the congregation as the service was closing. Ruslam and Arifin, both aged around 30 years old, were gunned down in front of their young families. Three other Christians were taken to hospital after the attack, suffering from gunshot injuries.
A few days after this incident, gunmen shot at the house of a Christian chief in the neighbouring Christian village of Tiwaa. Christian communities in parts of Indonesia frequently come under attack by Muslim militants.
Have mercy, O Lord, on all who have killed, robbed or destroyed Christians but go unpunished. Turn their hearts O Lord, and help them to repent. By the wounds of Christ, save them from the wounds of fruitless remorse. Give them instead that godly sorrow which leads to life. And may lives which have been slaves to evil become servants of love, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Originally published in Heroes of Our Faith by Patrick Sookhdeo (Isaac Publishing).