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Roy Kalbulan and Ribur Manulang
Photo: Open Doors

Former Bible college student Ribur and her Christian friend Roy were arrested on May 29th, 2012, and three days later, were charged with abusing Islam. Their arrest took place after being captured and attacked by a mob of villagers in Aceh (located near Sumatra), where Ribur began meeting weekly with a family of believers and reaching out to the Muslim community there. While at the village just prior to the arrest, a crowd of people suddenly gathered around the two visitors and began beating them, also lashing at them with a cattle whip. Further interrogations by the village leader resulted in more accusatory questions and beatings. Ribur prayed that the Holy Spirit would give her the strength to stand strong and testify to the truth. To obtain a better understanding of the challenges faced by Christians in Indonesia check the Indonesia Country Report.

During her subsequent 60 days of solitary confinement, Ribur was able to read the Bible and pray. Someone unexpected took notice. A prison guard told her it was the first time they had seen how a Christian prayed and read the Bible. Since the authorities couldn't find any evidence against Ribur and Roy, they were let go. "After I was released," Ribur testifies with gratitude, "I felt that the same God who helped me in the prison was helping me still." Though the team's work in Aceh is on hold for now, she continues to serve her local church and still dreams of planting churches in Sumatra.

May the Lord grant Ribur 'the desires of her heart' to continue reaching out to others with the Gospel message of Jesus by opening doors of opportunity for her to minister in Sumatra. In the meantime, pray that He will prepare the hearts of people there so they will be receptive to the good news of His eternal salvation. Also pray for continued blessings on Ribur and Roy, and their ministry team, for their faithfulness to the call even during difficult circumstances.

Country Information


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)

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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