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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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Daily prayer

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  • 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 19 hours ago

  • 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

  • On this Good Friday, give thanks to God for the death of Christ and for His gift of eternal life. Praise Him too for the example of those Christians who have persevered in their faith at the risk of their lives and who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of Christ and the Gospel. Pray that their martyrdom will inspire their suffering brothers and sisters in Christ to endure whatever hardships befall them and will convince their persecutors of the truth and power of the Gospel. Pray too that their bereaved families and churches will not grieve without hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Fri, Apr 2014 00:00

  • 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 Thu, Apr 2014 00:00

  • “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

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