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A man studying the Bible and taking notes.
An evangelist in Indonesia.
Photo: VOMC

A local village official in Indonesia stopped a church service on February 19th, demanding that the church discontinue meeting. This is only one example of the many challenges recently experienced by Christians in Indonesia. For previous reports, and to learn how you can further pray for believers in this Southeast Asian nation, go to our country report.

While members of the Tabernacle of David Christian Church in the village of Rajabasa Jaya were praying together on Sunday morning, a local chief named Wawan Kurniawan leapt over a metre-high fence and stormed into the service. Pushing the pastor aside, Wawan took to the pulpit and demanded that the service end. In response, some of those in attendance asked the chief to be patient, for they were only praying.

While this was happening, ten other villagers entered the church and joined in the chief's demands. During the ensuing turmoil, someone grabbed the pastor by the neck and began to choke him. Eventually, the congregation was forced to disperse. In his defence, Chief Wawan claims that the church does not have a permit to meet – a requirement frequently demanded by local authorities despite the fact that governmental laws guarantee the constitutional right to gather for worship. Because of the violent nature of the confrontation, the matter has been referred to the police.

Speaking of the incident, the Indonesian Churches Association has called on the authorities to take the matter seriously and not "ignore such intolerant actions." The concern is that, if appropriate action is not taken, others could be emboldened to carry out similar acts of harassment against Christians. "At any time, [social friction] can ignite into an open conflict," explains the association's General Secretary, Jacklevyn F. Manuputty.

Pray that Indonesia's authorities will take appropriate action against the villagers involved in this violent incident, and that the country's governing leaders would strive to ensure greater religious freedom is granted to all people. Further, ask God to strengthen the members of this recently attacked church so they will not succumb to the tactics of the enemy. Rather, may they be encouraged to seek His wisdom and guidance so they can respond appropriately in the midst of a potentially volatile environment and, ultimately, continue meeting together for worship without further threat of interference or violence.

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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