Cover Story

Cataclysm

"Cataclysm" Continued...

Issue: "Tsunami," Jan. 15, 2005

Aceh Province, at the devastated western tip of Sumatra, is the only province in Indonesia to enforce Shariah law. All women in its urban areas are required to wear Islamic coverings. Aceh's militant Sunnis are largely responsible for exporting Islam throughout the archipelago after its port became a stopover for shipbound pilgrims on their way to Mecca. Less than 300 Christians live in Aceh out of a pre-tsunami population of 3.5 million.

As Malaysian lawyer Min Choon Lee wrote: "What comes to my mind immediately is that many of the countries affected were countries hostile to the gospel and God's people. What we should hope for is that this crisis will bring people together in the common sharing of grief." The attorney noted, "I personally desire to see the church in affected countries play a leading role to console, heal, clothe, feed, and house their fellow citizens. This will be a living testimony of Christ's injunction to love our enemies and to pray for our persecutors."

-with reporting by Greg Dabel

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