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Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world, with a total of more than 220 million Muslims, or about 13 percent of the world’s Muslim population. While most Indonesian Muslims practice an animistic and superstitious version of Islam known as “folk” Islam, proponents of Islamic extremism have encouraged and engaged in violence against Christians. The wickedness of these attacks has led many Muslims to question their faith and to be more open to the gospel. Bold evangelists are taking advantage of this opportunity to share the gospel and lead many Muslims to faith in Christ.
82 percent of Indonesians are Sunni Muslims. 13 percent are Christians, including 3 percent evangelicals.
The main persecutors in Indonesia are Islamic extremists, who influence moderate Muslims. While the government does not normally persecute Christians, neither does it consistently defend them.
What It Means To Follow Christ In Indonesia:
Even though it is illegal to evangelize, it is legal, though difficult, for Muslims and others to convert to Christianity. Christians living in cities can worship openly. In rural areas, churches that actively share their faith face persecution from Muslims, local governments and the community. In some areas, small house churches of about 12 people are generally tolerated and allowed to meet openly. Muslims pay a price for converting to Christianity, and even in cities most Christian converts from Islam choose to attend churches outside their community. Those who openly share their faith face pressure from family members because their conversion affects the family’s social standing. Muslim families often disown their children who come to faith in Christ. Foreigners who openly evangelize Muslims are required to leave the country. One Indonesian province, Aceh, has implemented Islamic Sharia law.
Access To Bibles:
Bibles are available in most cities, but not in many rural locations. Indonesians can legally own a Bible, and the Indonesia Bible Society prints Bibles inside the country. However, many live in hostile and remote areas where Bibles are unavailable, and others cannot afford to purchase one. Give Bibles
VOM trains believers, assists with church planting efforts in difficult areas and helps relocate front-line workers under threat. VOM also distributes Bibles in the areas of greatest persecution, where there are often no other sources for Bibles or other Christian materials. Give to VOM’s Global Ministry
- Pray for local pastors facing financial crisis, especially for those who rent their worship space.
- Pray that church leaders and missions organizations will work together for the sake of the gospel.
- Pray that the government will control those inciting social unrest, especially against Christians.
- Pray that Christians in Indonesia will be salt and light to their Muslim neighbors.
- Pray that believers will learn to depend on God, even amid persecution.
- Pray that front-line workers will find creative ways to carry out their ministry.