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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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  • Cry out to the Lord for Christians in the Central African Republic (CAR) who have been driven from their homes by the violence that has engulfed their country. Attacks by Islamist Séléka militants and retaliation from “anti-balaka” militias has generated a huge humanitarian crisis in which around two million people, many of them Christians, are in need of emergency assistance. Give thanks for the work of Barnabas partners who have been providing food rations to hundreds of displaced believers in the capital, Bangui, and distributing food, medicines, clothing and seeds to thousands in various regions. Pray that the aid will reach those who need it most, and that the Lord will comfort the relatives and friends of the thousands who have been killed in the fighting. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 23 hours ago

  • “Jesus Christ performed tremendous miracles in all our lives through this Shalom Camp.” A pastor spoke of how God had worked through a Barnabas-sponsored weekend Bible camp for persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka. The camp was attended by believers from five different churches that had been the target of threats or attacks by Buddhist or Hindu extremists. The participants heard teaching on the Biblical basis for persecution and took part in group discussions; they came away refreshed and encouraged, and for many the camp was a time of great spiritual renewal. Give thanks to the Lord for the peace He has brought to these persecuted believers, and ask that the weekend will continue to bear much fruit in their lives. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Pray for a church leader in Sri Lanka, S.S. Johnpillai, who was threatened at gunpoint by attackers who claimed to be Special Forces officers. The minister was in a hut next to his church building in Guadalupe, Trincomolee when, he said, the men “appeared out of nowhere”. The intruders put a gun to Johnpillai’s head and accused him of holding a Communion service in honour of the founder of the Tamil Tigers, the government’s opponents in the country’s long and bloody civil war. The government had that day made it a criminal offence to commemorate the group. The gunmen ignored Johnpillai’s protests that he had not dedicated Communion to the group’s founder, and they threatened to shoot him. Ask the Lord to support and strengthen Johnpillai as he recovers from this terrifying ordeal. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Lift up to the Lord persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka, where at least 65 anti-Christian incidents took place during 2013, including repeat attacks on several believers and their property in October 2013. However, a Sri Lankan government minister from a Buddhist nationalist party denied the accounts, saying that they might be “made up”. The minister claimed that Sri Lankans are “one family … trying to live together after a long civil war”. Pray that the Sri Lankan government will recognise the danger that our brothers and sisters face from militant Buddhists and that the authorities will provide effective protection for vulnerable Christians. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Condemned Christian mother Aasia Bibi’s final appeal hearing is scheduled to take place tomorrow (14 April) having been deferred twice. She was sentenced to death for blasphemy in November 2010 having been falsely accused of insulting Muhammad following an argument with Muslim co-workers. Aasia has been languishing in jail since the accusation was made in June 2009. Pray that her appeal will finally go ahead and that the judges will have the courage to acquit and release Aasia; there are concerns that they may give in to pressure from hardline Islamists who have been calling for her execution. Pray that Aasia, her husband and children will know the Lord’s peace as they await the verdict. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Apr 2014 00:00

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