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Roy Pontoh (1999) - “A soldier of God is ready to die for Christ”

Roy Pontoh (1999) - “A soldier of God is ready to die for Christ”

Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6:13

Young Roy was 15 years old when he bravely lost his life for Christ in Indonesia. This country has been notorious for its anti-Christian violence fuelled by Islamist organisations. Roy lived in a particularly violent part of the Maluku Islands called Ambon, which has seen attacks on churches and the homes of Christians, and numerous killings.

On 20 January 1999 he was part of a 125-strong group of young people from the New Covenant Christian Church attending a Bible camp at Pattimura University. When the event had come to an end, many of the young people needed transport home. Pastor Meiky Sainyakit visited a local village to find a truck to hire, and upon leaving he and his party were attacked by a local mob. Pastor Sainyakit and his driver were killed.

A short time later the remaining youngsters were confronted by fighters from the Laskar Jihad terrorist organisation at the gates of the University. Armed with machetes, spears, knives and clubs the fighters began hunting down the defenceless young people, whose desperate attempts to hide were futile.

Roy was targeted by one of the attackers and, when asked who he was, the teenager answered, “a soldier of God”. The attacker slashed Roy with a machete, almost severing his left arm. After being asked a second time Roy replied with the same answer. He received a blow to his right shoulder, leaving a big gash, and this time the attacker shouted, “What is God’s soldier?”

“A soldier of God is ready to die for Christ” was Roy’s final answer, at which the machete flew down upon him one last time. As he died he screamed, “Jesus!” Roy’s body was later discovered by his family.

We pray thee, Lord, to guide and uphold thy Church with thy unfailing goodness; that in prosperity it lose not zeal, and in adversity have faith and patient endurance; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Parish Prayers (no. 1310)

Dr Patrick Sookhdeo is the International Director of Barnabas Fund and the Executive Director of the Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life.

Roy Pontoh (1999) - “A soldier of God is ready to die for Christ”

Originally appeared on Isaac Publishing

For Other Heroes of Faith articles -

Noor Alam (1998) Undeterred by Threats