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Photo from AsiaNews

Christians in Bekasi, West Java have faced growing opposition in recent months from Muslims opposed to "Christianization." On July 5, a banner with the picture of a Christian man with a noose around his neck was hung on the front of a mosque in Bekasi, stating, "This man deserves the death penalty." The man, Andreas Sanau (29), is one of two men accused of organizing mass baptisms. The accusations came after busloads of poor villagers arrived at a Christian relief agency on June 30 as part of an outreach program. However, baptism is not a part of the program.

Church services throughout the city have been repeatedly interrupted and Christians threatened. In June, the Bekasi Islamic Congress met and set up a "mission center" along with a youth army to oppose Christian efforts. There is also a push for sharia law in the region. (Sources: AsiaNews, Compass Direct)

Pray for protection for Christians in Bekasi. Pray that the threats against Andreas will not be acted upon. Pray that the authorities will protect the Christians against opposition from militant Islamic groups.

Go to the Indonesia Country Report for more details on the persecution of Christians in Indonesia.

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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