Indonesia is poised for change; Christians remain wary.

By September 24, 2004

Indonesia (MNN)–Indonesia is poised for change as the final presidential election votes are tallied and point to a new administration.

The election comes just 10 days after a deadly bombing and threats of other bombings threatened to disrupt the process.

This is the first direct presidential election for the country. The pending results threaten to displace President Megawati Sukarnoputri. With most of the votes counted, she is too far behind to catch up.

Her rival is former general Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Voice of the Martyrs’ Todd Nettleton says the people are tired of the continued religious unrest.

For Christians, he believes, the current administration was ineffective in breaking up the monopoly of terror. “President Megawati has said many of the right things about peace, about protecting religious freedom, about protecting the Christian minority there, but her actions haven’t always carried out what her mouth was saying.”
Nettleton says a change in leadership brings with it upheaval. However, they have no plans to change their ministry. “We have workers in Indonesia. We have a presence there. We’re committed to work with the church regardless of what the government says. We know that there are radical Muslims there. We know that at least on some level there’s going to be a continuation of persecution of Christians.”

Trouble for believers has been most prevalent in the Ambon, South Moluccas area. Pray that their teams will be able to work without further harassment or threat in the coming days.

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