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Logo from Huria Kristen Batak Protestan Church
Two partially constructed church buildings were burned down by suspected Muslim militants in Sibuhuan village, North Sumatra province, Indonesia on January 22. Hundreds of Muslims from outside the village arrived on motorcycles and burned down the Huria Kristen Batak Protestan Church (HKBP) building and then proceeded to set fire to the nearby Pentecostal Church building. The HKBP church members have worshipped at the site since the 1970s. In 1981 they erected a simple structure and in 2009 they began a construction project on the building. When Muslim leaders demanded the construction stop because a building permit had not been issued, the Christians agreed -- despite the fact that the building permit had been in process for five years. After requests from local Muslims to dismantle the constructed areas, the Christians began to take down the building on January 13. They were unable to complete the dismantling, however, before the mob set fire to the church. At last report, authorities were searching for a location for the churches to rebuild. In the meantime, the congregations are reportedly planning to hold services in believers' homes. (Source: Compass Direct)

Thank the Lord that nobody was injured in these attacks. Pray that these congregations will soon be able to rebuild their churches. Pray that in the face of violence, Indonesian believers will confidently entrust themselves to Christ and preach the gospel without hesitation (2 Timothy 1:7-12).

To find out more about the plight of Indonesian Christians, click here.

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.

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