On Saturday, 19th November, thousands of Indonesians held a peaceful rally to promote unity, saying they were worried by signs of growing racial and religious intolerance in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country.
Dressed in red and white shirts, the colours of the Indonesian flag, religious leaders, members of human rights groups, lawmakers and others marched along a central Jakarta street.
Some held posters with the national motto “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika”, which means unity in diversity, while others performed traditional dances.
“This is about diversity, but also about unity. We have to separate politics from ethnicity, religion, and race,” said 25-year old Iwan Saputra. “I want Indonesia to stay united.”
Concerns about rising hardline Islamic sentiment in the country of 250 million people have grown since police decided last Wednesday to investigate a blasphemy complaint by Muslim groups against the Christian governor of Jakarta.
More than 100,000 Muslims protested against Governor Basuki Purnama Purnama earlier this month, and there were also many reported incidences of attacks against Christians and Church property across Indonesia.
Some analysts have said the police decision to pursue the case was a blow to democracy as well as diversity. Indonesia recognises six religions and is home to several minority groups that adhere to traditional beliefs.
- Pray for Indonesia, as it faces growing Islamic fundamentalist pressure against Christianity and other minority groups.
- Pray for wisdom for the Indonesian government, to not bend to the will of extreme Islamists, but to continue to allow freedom of belief and worship for all people.
- Pray for Christians in Indonesia, for protection and courage as they face growing opposition and persecution.
- Pray for the case against Governor Purnama to be dropped and no charges brought against him.
- Pray for the Holy Spirit to move over this nation and for many hearts to be turned to know the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Psalm 133 vs 1: “How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!”
Source: http://www.reuters.com/article, http://www.persecution.org