Church planters must get permission to plant churches in Indonesia

By March 2, 2006

Indonesia (MNN) — The idea is to broadcast the Gospel, see people come to Christ, disciple them and then plant churches. In Indonesia it may not be that easy as the government has completed the revision of the controversial decree on the establishment of places of worship. It requires that all religious faiths must review requests for permits to build places of worship and then provide recommendations to the local government.

Back to the Bible’s Frans Silalahi broadcasts Christian programming in Indonesia on 27 radio stations throughout the country. He says the requirement to plant a church is unique. “You have to ask permission from 70 people (who) are unbelievers to set up one church. That’s what the law says and they released those laws this month.”

According to Silalahi, “We consider that as a challenge to our faith. When you talk about the church, the living church is not just building. I mean you can grow spiritually without the building.”

In order to build a church, the government requires a membership of 100 people. Silalahi says, “We (may not) have a chance to build a church any more, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t any more Christians in Indonesia.”

Despite the new law, Back to the Bible continues to broadcast the Good News. Silalahi says Christians who are actively reaching out need prayer. “I’m an evangelist and Bible teacher. I (must be) brave to tell the truth at any cost. That’s my calling and the calling of all the servants of the Lord in Indonesia. So, please pray for us not to be afraid.”

Pray, too, that God will continue using Christian radio to lead many Indonesians to Himself.

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