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Lent Prayer - Indonesia

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Lent Prayer - Indonesia

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Lent Prayer - Indonesia

Project(s): 22-828, 22-908, 22-766, 22-914

Country/Region: South and East Asia, Indonesia

More Muslims live in Indonesia than in any other country. But although they number more than 80% of the population (the exact percentage is disputed), they live alongside a sizeable Christian community, whose history goes back to the 16th century. For many decades Indonesia was a model of equality and harmonious relations between different religious groups.

20110323-Indonesia-4X3.jpg
Christians from Padang, supported by Barnabas Fund, delivering aid by boat to help their brothers and sisters in Mentawai, which was pounded by a tsunami in October 2010
(Source: IFGF GISI Mentawai Relief Team)

But in the last years of the 20th century a massive campaign of violence against Christians was launched by Islamists intent on bringing the whole country under the rule of sharia law. The appalling bloodshed of those years has not recurred on the same scale, but Islamists still wield considerable power and influence, undermining relations between Muslims and Christians and attacking Christian churches, homes and individuals.

The militants tend to concentrate their activity in areas where the local government or Muslim community are especially sympathetic to them. For example, in late 2009 and 2010 the Bekasi and Bogor regencies of West Java witnessed a long series of violent incidents. These included repeated attacks on one church and the wounding of two of its leaders, the burning of a Christian education centre, and the intimidation of local Christians by a coalition of Islamic organisations. The authorities have failed to rein in the Islamists and have sometimes promoted their agenda.

The position of Indonesia’s Christians is made even more precarious by the manipulation of local demographics. The government has encouraged Muslims to migrate and settle in Christian-majority areas; once they outnumber the Christians they can press for the imposition of sharia. Areas that have recently shifted from Christian-majority to Muslim-majority are Papua, Maluku, Timor, Menado, Central Kalimantan and parts of West Sumatra and Central Sulawesi. Various Muslim-majority provinces have enacted various sharia regulations, and some of these apply to Christians as well as Muslims. In addition, the authorities impose restrictions on Christians’ evangelism, construction of buildings for worship, and involvement in public life.

Pray for the Christians of Indonesia in the face of these various challenges. Pray that the government will be bolder in resisting the attempts by Islamists to make the country an Islamic state. Pray especially that it will provide better protection for the churches against violent attacks, and that the various restrictions on their religious freedom will be lifted. Ask for the Lord’s comfort and healing for those who have suffered in the recent incidents in West Java. Pray too for Christians in the Mentawai Islands off Sumatra, whose villages were swamped by a tsunami in October 2010.

Barnabas Fund projects in Indonesia include:

  • Support for church-planters (Ref. 22-828)
  • Training for outreach (Ref. 22-908)
  • Theological seminary (Ref. 22-766)
  • Christian university (Ref. 22-914)

This article is taken from

Praying for the Persecuted Church in Lent 2011” - order your FREE copy here.

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christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

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  • Pray for the residents of a mainly Christian village in Borno state, Northern Nigeria, in the aftermath of a horrific attack by Boko Haram militants on 15 February. Ask for God’s comfort for the relatives and friends of the 106 people in Izghe who were gunned down and slaughtered in their houses or in the open as they tried to flee. Pray for strength for the numerous residents who were wounded or whose properties were looted and torched. Pray too for the many Christians who fled into the neighbouring state after the attack, and ask that the Christian community in the North of Nigeria will be preserved in the face of Islamist violence. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Violent attacks by militants from the Islamist group Boko Haram continue unabated in Northern Nigeria. On one horrendous day of violence on 26 January, at least 138 people were killed. A church in Wada Chakawa village in Adamawa state was targeted; the attackers locked the congregation inside and then detonated bombs, shooting and cutting the throats of people who tried to escape. They then went on a four-hour rampage in the village. Later the same day, Kawuri village in neighbouring Borno state was burned to the ground. Boko Haram is fighting to establish an Islamic state, and Christians are among its main targets. Pray that the Nigerian authorities will succeed in containing its insurgency. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we give You thanks on this Easter Day for the living hope that You have given us and all Your people through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (1 Peter 1:3). We pray that the prospect of an enduring inheritance and future salvation will encourage our persecuted brothers and sisters to persevere in their faith, whatever may happen to them. We pray that we too may be sustained by this hope in the sufferings that we experience for the sake of Christ. We ask that the joy and resurrection power of the Lord will give strength and peace to persecuted believers today and every day. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Give thanks for the Christ-like responses of Christian leaders in CAR to the crisis that threatens them and their churches. They have distanced themselves from the anti-balaka militias, saying that these should not be labelled as Christian and that they hold no mandate from the churches. The leaders have also condemned the violence in the country, whatever its origin, and have called on Christians to pursue forgiveness, reconciliation and healing. Churches are hiding, defending and caring for thousands of Muslims endangered by the anti-balaka, and one of CAR’s most senior church leaders has invited the president of the country’s Islamic community to move into his church compound. Pray that this powerful witness to the grace and love of Christ will help to bring peace to the shattered country. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sat, Apr 2014 00:00

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