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Pastor Bedali Hulu and his church
Photos from Compass Direct

After several weeks of pressure and intimidation, members of the Jakarta Christian Baptist Church have been ordered by officials to cease worshipping in the home of Pastor Bedali Hulu, according to an October 5 report from Compass Direct. The officials were reportedly pressured to make the order by the Islamic Defenders Front, the Betawi Forum Group and members of the political party Hizbut Tahrir. On September 13, hundreds of Muslims barged into Pastor Hulu's home and forced the believers to leave. Several days later, a church-owned vehicle was burned in the pastor's driveway. A large crowd again surrounded the home on September 27, demanding that the worship service be stopped.

Pastor Hulu established and registered his church with Religious Affairs authorities in 2005 and obtained written permission from a local official to hold the services. However, in 2006 a Joint Ministerial Decree was revised, insisting congregations be composed of at least 90 adult members, demanding permission from at least 60 adult neighbours and requiring a permit from local authorities. According to local Christians, it is nearly impossible to meet all of these terms to qualify for a permit.

Ask God to use this ordeal to strengthen the members of this church. Pray that they will keep their eyes on Jesus, persevere in their faith and not grow weary or lose heart (Hebrews 10:32-39; 12:1-3).

To find out more about the suffering of Indonesian believers, please visit the Indonesia Country Report.

Country Information

Designation
Persecuted

Population
275,122,131 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Javanese (40.1), Sundanese (15.5), Malay (3.7), Balak (3.6), Madurese (3), Betawi (2.9), Minangkabau (2.7), Buginese (2.7), Bantenese (2), Other (23.8)

Religion (%)
Muslim (87.2), Christian (9.9), Hindu (1.7), Other (0.9), Unspecified (0.4)

Leader
President Joko Widodo (2014)

Government type
Presidential republic

Legal system
Civil law system based on the Roman-Dutch model and influenced by customary law

Sources: CIA World Factbook.

Pray for Indonesia

Pray for the continued growth of the church in Indonesia, despite the intense opposition and persecution that has taken place. May the destructive plans of the enemy to eradicate Christianity be frustrated and nullified.

Pray that whatever is intended for evil, God will turn around for good -- causing such hatred and violence to not only discredit extremism, but to also compel many to seek salvation in Christ... including the perpetrators of persecution.

end

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