Christianity growing in Indonesia, but so is oppression

By August 8, 2006

Indonesia (MNN) — Earthquakes, tsunamis and other natural disasters have hit the world’s largest Muslim in the nation world hard in the last few years. Thousands have perished — many without knowing or even hearing about Christ crucified. However, Words of Hope is trying to change that through radio and it’s having an impact.

Words of Hope’s Vice President for Broadcasting, speaking from Indonesia, tells MNN that God’s spirit is moving. “Radio broadcasts in the languages of Macasar and Bugis, are continuing to bear fruit. The production team based here in Macasar, produces a nightly program of 30 minutes in each language seven nights a week.”

While Far East Broadcasting has been beaming programming into Indonesia via short-wave, DeYoung says there’s a new option. “A local AM station that covers the entire target area inhabited by these two major people groups of Sulawesi, that station is putting the program on every single day. And, that has really added to the response. Pastors have told us that the broadcasts are bearing fruit and that they are proving to be a help to them in building their churches.”

While many people are coming to Christ, it’s difficult to hold church services. New laws require the signatures of 75 families in order to start of house church. DeYoung says, “The only way that a house church can abide by the law without having 75 families who’ve signed their names to registration certificates is if the meeting place rotates every week.”

Believers in this area are being sent to reach out to the tsunami devastated area of Aceh. DeYoung says, “A young man who has just graduated from Bible college, who feels called to minister in this place – which has been hostile to Christians. And, he has been called to Aceh and is going to go there and has made a two year commitment to live in a mountain area, showing the love of Christ as he witnesses and helps those around him.”

Funding is need to help fund radio airtime so that the Gospel can continue broadcasting in the region.

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