Blessings Brothers and Sisters! Did you hear about the recent ban on church construction in a Muslim tribal area in Indonesia? God has loyal Christians there, He is with them. According to the Christian Post, the leaders of Selumit village in Tarakan City, North Kalimantan Province, have prohibited the Mawar Sharon Christian Church from constructing a worship building, citing state regulations that prohibit building churches in predominantly Muslim areas (1).
This decision has sparked outrage among Christian groups who are citing the Indonesian constitution and the country’s philosophy of Pancasila, the government’s guiding policy of unity and social justice for all of Indonesia’s various peoples. Christian students have even called for the ban to be overturned, stating that it goes against the fundamental principles of religious freedom and tolerance (1).
Unfortunately, this ban is part of a larger trend of increasing religious conservatism in Indonesia. Churches that are involved in evangelistic outreach are at risk of being targeted by Islamic extremist groups. In some regions of Indonesia, non-traditional churches struggle to get permission for church buildings, with the authorities often ignoring their paperwork (2).
As someone who Loves God, and values freedom of religion, this ban is a worrying development. It’s important for us to pray for the government to take steps to ensure that all religious groups are able to practice their faith without fear of persecution or discrimination. Let’s pray that Indonesia’s guiding policy of unity and social justice is upheld to ensure that Indonesia remains a diverse and tolerant nation.
- “Indonesia Leaders Ban Church Construction in Muslim Tribal Area,” Christian Post, accessed on March 17, 2021, https://www.christianpost.com/news/indonesia-leaders-ban-church-construction-in-muslim-tribal-area.html.
- “World Watch List 2021,” Open Doors USA, accessed on March 17, 2021, https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/world-watch-list/.
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