More than 6,000 Christians have been forced to convert to Islam in the Moluccas (the Spice Islands) in recent months. The chair of the Protestant advocacy team, Semy Waeleruny, in Ambon told press this week that he knows definitely that 5,948 Christians have been forced to convert to Islam. The lawyer released a list of all the islands in which the forced conversions have taken place. These are: the Bacan Islands, North Buru, Bula, North-East Ceram, Tehoru, South Ceram and recently Keswui. Thee have been several reports that those who refuse to convert are being killed. The Catholic Crisis Centre in Ambon reported that 123 villagers disappeared from a village in North Buru, following a series of conversions. Officially the death toll from the civil war which began in January this year has reached 4,500, but observers fear the real number could be much higher.
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