A 2 year-old girl has died after suffering burns on the majority of her body following an attack by an alleged Islamic extremist on a church in Borneo, Indonesia.
According to ABC News, Ade Intan Marbun was one of four young children injured after a man - identified by police as Juhanda, a.k.a. Jo bin Muhammad Aceng, a 32 year old ex-convict for terrorism - threw a Molotov cocktail from his passing motorbike into Oikumene Church in Samarinda, the provincial capital of E. Kalimantan province. The man was reportedly wearing a shirt emblazoned with the phrase, "Jihad, Way of Life."
East Kalimantan police spokesman Fajar Setiawan said the toddler, who was playing on the church lawn with several other children at the time of the attack, died from complications after suffering burns to more than three quarters of her body.
"It affected her respiratory system and efforts to save her failed and she died early Monday," said Setiawan.
After carrying out the deadly attack, Juhanda reportedly jumped into a river, where he was captured by officials. Time Magazine reports that the man was sentenced in 2012 to three years and six months for his involvement in the "book-bomb" plot in Jakarta a year before, and received remission of sentence and was released in July 2014.
Juhanda was arrested again in September 2014 after he was found with an Islamic State (ISIS) flag in Parepare, Sulawesi. At the time, he was allegedly trying to find and kill his wife.
Indonesia, a Muslim-majority country, is no. 43 on Open Door USA's World Watch List of countries where Christians face the most persecution.
World Watch Monitor notes that Islamic extremists were behind a series of attacks that destroyed churches in the Aceh region of Sumatra in 2015, a region ruled by Sharia Law. Because of alleged discrimination by local authorities, some of the churches have not been rebuilt one year on.
On October 2015, Islamic extremists burned down a church in Aceh Singkil, causing an estimated 8,000 Christians to flee to neighboring Northern Sumatra.
In late August, a suicide bomber tried to attack a crowded Catholic church in the Sumatran city of Medan, but his vest failed to detonate. A drawing resembling an ISIS flag was reportedly found at the scene.
But despite the mounting Christian persecution in Indonesia, church membership is climbing, notes WWM.
Of the 11 churches destroyed last year, the members of six of these churches continue to meet in tents in the woods. Other congregants have joined other churches despite fear of more violence, WWM learned.
One local said the church members are keeping their "spirits high" even though they meet in the middle of a palm oil plantation.
Another one said that while rainy days make it difficult to attend the service, the church members continue to meet.
"[Rain] has happened many times, but we still continue the service. Even if the tents are leaking and rainwater or mud is splashing in from the outside, no-one ever leaves the service!" the church member said.