As we continue in becoming more aware of our Christian brothers and sisters around the world, let us take a moment to remember and pray for those who are encountering opposition and being persecuted in the country of Indonesia. Indonesia is a large country comprising a series of islands reflecting diverse cultures and religions. Accordingly, it has a history of religious pluralism. Indonesia surpasses other countries with the largest Muslim population, 87.2 percent of its 267 million people. Other government-recognized religions include Christianity (9.9 percent) and Hinduism (1.7 percent), as well as Buddhism and Confucianism, together representing under 1 percent of the population
Indonesian Christians living in cities can worship openly. In rural areas, Christians who actively share the Gospel and their testimony face persecution from Muslims, local governments, and even the community. Islamic extremists influence moderate Muslims. While the government does not normally persecute Christians, neither does it consistently defend them.
Muslims pay a price when they become Christians. Muslim families often disown their children when the come to believe in Jesus Christ. New believers are likely to face disapproval, intense pressure to return to Islam, verbal abuse and possibly social isolation. In some cases, families will withdraw all support. Married women may keep their new faith secret to avoid being divorced. Some women are faced with lots of psychological abuse, including death threats, for being Christians.
The Indonesian province of Aceh has implemented Islamic law. While bibles are available in most cities, and the Indonesian Bible Society prints Bibles in the country, there are many Indonesians who live in hostile areas where bibles are unavailable and others cannot afford to purchase one. Please keep praying for your brothers and sisters in Indonesia for courage to live faithfully and to not lose heart.