Indonesia: Rapid church growth
Indonesia, a nation composed of 1,700 islands, is located in Southeast Asia. It has the world’s largest Muslim population. Churches in Indonesia are experiencing “phenomenal” growth. In some areas of the country, Christian converts pay a heavy price for their faith.
Around 90 percent of Indonesia’s 245.3 million people are Muslim, and practice a moderate version of Islam in urban areas. Indonesia ranks 47 on Open Doors World Watch List, a ranking of the 50 countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.
A report by Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) in 2012 described Church growth in Indonesia as “phenomenal” and says that an increasing number of people are attending churches in many areas.
One Indonesian pastor, Billy Njotorahardjo, saw his church grow from 400 to more than 6000 in four years. This video by CBN reports on Church growth in Indonesia.
The island of Bali is home to the Indonesia’s Hindu minority. The island is 93 per cent Hindu. However, charismatic churches are experiencing a surge, according to Christianity Today magazine. The number of Christian denominations on the island increased from three to one hundred in twenty years
Christian converts pay a high price in Bali. Balinese Hindus will kill Christian converts and take over their land. Therefore, many converts are afraid to inform their families as they risk losing their homes and livelihoods.
Islamist extremists carried out a bombing in Bali which killed 202 in 2002. Extremists also rule the autonomous province of Aceh in Indonesia. A strict version of Islamic Sharia Law is enforced. Here, Christians are widely persecuted and local authorities ordered 20 churches in the province to be demolished in 2012.
Pray for Indonesia to be changed and transformed by God through Christians modeling the love and life of Christ (The Bible, Acts 1:8).
Pray for Hindus to have the courage to face the consequences of converting and to leave Hinduism (The Bible,Luke 6:22).
Pray for the safety and protection of Christians in areas with a strongly Islamic and Hindu population (The Bible,Psalm 5:11).