All posts tagged: Indonesia

World changes that we never imagined: Indonesia

One hundred and thirty million is a huge number. That is one estimate of the people in Indonesia who will make a radical change in their lives in the next decade. This is only one estimate, but change is coming to one of the largest countries in the world. This is a news story that is mostly ignored, but the world is changing around us. Change is uncomfortable for powerful people, but humans always think and act, and we should know that changes are coming. READ: Millions Secretly ‘Turn To Christ’ In Indonesia

Photo of Aldi Adilang's boat at moment of rescue near the Island of Guam. Released by the Indonesian Consulate General in Osaka/AP

Some things are more significant than we realize: Indonesian teenager rescued after spending 49 days lost at sea

An interesting story coming out of Indonesia, may have more significance than we realize. With a population of over 260 million people, Indonesia is made up of several islands located north of Australia. The sea and fishing are a major part of life. Muslims make up 87% of its population and about 10% are Christians.  Because of their dominance, in parts of Indonesia, Muslims extremists are actively persecuting Christians. And recently the world was caught up in a story about an Indonesian teenager, Aldi Novel Adilang, 18, who miraculously survived 49 days at sea stuck in a fishing trap. The raft like boat has a hut on it and is moored in the ocean for fishing. It also has a large light that is turned on at night to attract fish. Adilang had worked in such a fishing trap since he was 16. The owner of takes food, water and gas for the generator out to his 50 fishing traps once a week. However because of high winds, Adilang’s raft broke its mooring and started …

Central Java, Indonesia Photo: Piyaphon Phemtaweepon/Flickr

Dealing with fear

In December 2001, Pastor You Yong was praying in his church in Magetan, Indonesia when members of the Laskar Jihad army surrounded the church and kidnapped the Christian pastor. Pastor You had started a small church in 1996 and it grew to over 100 people. The majority of the congregation were converts from Islam. The Muslims were outraged. Indonesia has a population of about 250 million and 85% are Muslim. In a couple of provinces, they have even managed to set up Sharia law. Though Christians only make up 12% of the population, they are the fastest growing religion in Indonesia. Yong’s church was part of that growth. The Muslims complained to local authorities that Yong was causing disharmony. When they were put off, the Islamic leaders called in the Laskar Jihad army to deal with the situation. The Jihadists threw a bag over Yong’s head and dragged him off for interrogation. They beat and threatened Yong. They held a machete to his neck and Yong thought he was going to die. But during this …

Sidokarto, Indonesia Photo: Jose Javier Martin Espartosa/Flickr

Burning Churches

Recently, Muslim extremists in Indonesia have been burning Christian churches. This is news around the world, and it seems to be another example of Muslim intolerance, but I think there is a hidden story here. Indonesia has the largest Muslim population of any country. It’s interesting that the second largest Muslim population is in India. The mostly Hindu population of India is so large, that close to 200,000,000 Muslims are a minority. Asia is amazing. Indonesia also has close to 200,000,000 Muslims, with large minorities of Christians, Buddhists, Confucianists, and Hindus. Hindus dominate the island of Bali. The country is a democracy, and the government strives for unity. And until recently, Muslims in Indonesia were known as tolerant and inclusive. The most northern province of Indonesia is Aceh, a conservative Muslim region where Sharia law is imposed on everyone, including Christians. That’s where churches are being burned. Religious divisions could lead to civil war. In July a mosque was burned in Papua, which is predominantly Christian, and the nations largest province. In Aceh, Christians defended …

Unusual church building in the middle of the Indonesian jungle created after “a vision from God”

In 1989, Daniel Alamsjah, now 67, was working in Jakarta, Indonesia when he received ‘a vision from God’ to build a unique Christian prayer house in that predominately Muslim country. The result is an enchanting structure buried in the middle of an Indonesian jungle. In an interview with Jakarta Globe, Daniel said a few months after the vision he was walking with his family through a jungle 342 miles away near Magelang, Central Java, where his wife’s family lives, when he saw the same landscape he had seen in his vision. “I prayed all night there, and I got the revelation that I must build the prayer house in that spot.” Daniel initially fought building the structure: “‘God, I’m no priest, this is not my place. I’m not a fundamentalist. I’m just a devout practicing Christian,’ I thought to myself at the time. Another reason for my hesitation was financial—I didn’t have a lot of money.” Not a rich man, it took Daniel four years to pay off the $170 needed to buy the property from …

Over a quarter of the passengers in AirAsia crash attended the same Pentecostal church

According to reports, over 25% of the people killed in the AirAsia crash at the end of December attended the same Pentecostal church in Indonesia. While on a trip from Indonesia to Singapore, Flight QZ8501 crashed into the ocean on December 28, 2014, killing all 162 on board. Severe weather was a contributing factor in the crash. 41 of the passengers attended Mawar Sharon Church in Surabaya, Indonesia. It is one of the largest mega-churches in Asia with 17,000 attendees and is part of the Mawar denomination, a pentecostal group in Indonesia with 45,000 members.