Indonesia (MNN) — Central Sulawesi, Indonesia has been a
hotbed for sectarian violence. Christian/Muslim riots have been common. In June, however, the Gospel will reach into this area.
Country Director of Back to the Bible Indonesia, Frans
Silalahi says this isn't an easy area in which to work. "That place faces
many conflicts. Every year we always have religious conflicts there. Some of
the Christians were sentenced to death because of those riots."
Silalahi is talking about the convictions of three men,
charged will leading riots against Muslims in May of 2000. Many believe these were
false charges and the executions were done to appease the Muslim majority.
However, this isn't stopping Back to the Bible's efforts to
proclaim the Gospel through radio. Silalahi says they have received all the
approvals needed go on the air. "Our main goal here is to reach the unreached
people, especially the tribes, the Wana people and the second is the Mori
people. There are more than 20,000 people that live on the coast, and that's
our first target," says Silalahi.
A 70-year-old woman has been praying she'd be able to help
reach these people. Silalahi says, "She said this is an answer from the
Lord. She can't go to the Wana people any more, but she can speak from this
radio station to reach the Wana people there."
Starting a radio station hasn't been easy in this area. To get there
Silalahi says he flies three hours from Jakarta. Then, he gets on a bus and rides for another 13
hours. He then gets on a boat for almost two hours. Then, he travels by motorcycle
for three more hours.
Despite the traveling challenges, the station is making
great progress, Silalahi says, "We already have our studio. Our tower is
already erected, but we're waiting for the transmitter from the United States.
In June, the transmitter will arrive in Indonesia."
Getting the radio station on their air is just one issue
facing them. "95-percent of the Wana people have no radio receiver. We
will have a project to give the radio receivers to these people. So, when we
broadcast the Gospel, they will be able to listen to this radio."