Indonesia - Believers worshipping together - Photo: VOMC

Indonesia

Indonesia has a stable and robust democracy. It has the largest Muslim population in the world and the fourth-largest population overall. By law, Indonesians may choose to follow any of five religions, including Christianity. In practice, however, Muslims receive preferential treatment. Islamic radicalism has increased in Indonesia, leading to sectarian violence and terrorism.

Christian groups in Indonesia have reported a surge in church attendance in recent years, a source of contention in the predominantly Sunni Muslim country. Recently, local governments have closed evangelical churches and imposed restrictions on church expansion. In addition, extremists have forcibly closed churches, sometimes with the tacit approval of local officials and police. Under a Joint Ministerial Decree issued in 1969 and revised in 2006, all religious groups in Indonesia must apply for permits to establish and operate places of worship; in practice, only non-Muslims must comply. Part of this law stipulates that a majority of neighbors in the area must agree to a church's existence. Permission is sometimes denied, and some previously approved churches have been closed after complaints from Muslims.

Country Information

Designation
Persecuted

Population
267,026,366 (July 2020 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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Indonesia News

  • Four Christians Killed
    A home in Indonesia
    Photo: Open Doors

    A small militant group associated with ISIS, referred to as The East Indonesia Mujahideen, is known for its acts of violence. This same group was responsible for an attack in November that left four Christians dead (read the report). Therefore, when five members of the group wer

    ...
  • Palm Sunday Suicide Bombing
    Sacred Heart Cathedral, Sulawesi, Indonesia - Photo: Wikipedia / Tropen Museum
    The Sacred Heart Cathedral has stood
    in this location since 1900.
    Photo: Wikipedia / Tropen Museum (cc)

    The Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral in Makassar, Sulawesi, had just finished its Palm Sunday Mass on March 29th, and were in the midst of preparations for a second service, when the air was sudde

    ...
  • Christian Family Killed in Terrorist Attack
    Central Sulawesi - Photo: Flickr / Ruth Onduko
    Central Sulawesi
    Photo: Flickr / Ruth Onduko (cc)

    The Indonesian police and military have launched a hunt for the Islamic terrorist group responsible for killing four Christians of a single family and setting fire to homes in Central Sulawesi. This is the third attack within the past three months

    ...
  • Protests Force Church to Close
    A Sunday School in Indonesia - Photo: World Watch Monitor www.worldwatchmonitor.org
    Ask God to provide wisdom as Indonesian believers seek ways to gather in fellowship.
    Photo: World Watch Monitor

    The New Testament Christian Church in Central Java was meeting for worship on February 16th when protesters entered the building and demanded that the church service stop. As the demonstra

    ...