Indonesia (MNN) — This year leading to Indonesia’s presidential election means high stakes. Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world with 270 million people, and the largest Muslim-majority nation. The outcome of this election will play a crucial role in determining economic reforms, social issues, religious freedoms, and regional stability in Southeast Asia.
Current President Joko Widodo’s second and final term is coming to an end. The election for his successor will take place in February 2024, and presidential candidates’ campaigns and rallies are well underway.
That is not all on Indonesia’s political calendar next year. Bruce Allen with FMI says, “They’re also moving their national government from Jakarta on the island of Java to the island of Kalimantan (or what we call Borneo) and building a whole new city to house millions of people who will have voices in government. So 2024 is going to be a big year for Indonesian government in general.
“Our leadership team is saying this is a decisive moment because now during the campaign season, the rhetoric is showing that some politicians think the country should retain that constitutional principle of diversity operating in harmony. But others more radical [and] more vocal are calling for an entire Islamic State.”
Whoever becomes Indonesia’s next president will have the opportunity to make Christian missions easier or harder in this majority Muslim nation. Roughly 70% of the population is totally unreached with the Gospel, and Christians are a minority.
Amidst a contentious election season, pastors and church planters are still focused on the Great Commission. FMI supports Christian leaders in Indonesia with a heart for their neighbors who don’t know Jesus.
The ministry is soon hosting a conference on the island of Sumatra for Indonesian pastors and their spouses.
Allen says, “Our plan is to present some powerful new ways and provide some tools that they can use to engage their neighbors in spiritual conversations and Gospel presentations.
“Pray that these pastors will be encouraged as they come together. Sometimes, it can just feel like you’re so alone, especially as you’re serving in remote, rural villages…. Pray that the conference is an encouraging time for them but that they’d also be fortified in their faith.”
Header photo courtesy of Mufid Majnun/Unsplash.