17 Jun 2015

Assailants burn down church in Papua

3:54 pm on 17 June 2015

An evangelical church in Indonesia's province of Papua has been burned down by a group of unknown attackers.

Church fire

Church fire Photo: Supplied

The local military commander, Lieutenant Colonel Bayu Sudarmanto, told the Jakarta Globe the incident happened in Yambi, in Papua's Puncak Jaya district.

Residents say they heard gunshots and saw smoke coming from the GIDI church, before approaching the building and attempting to douse the flames.

Nobody was reported hurt in the incident, and police say they are investigating.

The chairman of the church, Dainus Game, says it's a sad development and it's the first time a church has been burnt in the district.

He says he suspects members of the separatist group, the Free Papua Movement or OPM.

He says the group fights against the government, the church and other community groups.