Indonesia (MNN) — Indonesia will move its political capital from Jakarta on the island of Java and build a new city on the island of Borneo. The new capital now under construction will receive the name “Nusantara” which means, “archipelago.” The city could be ready by the end of 2024.
Jakarta suffers from severe overcrowding, with congested traffic and a significant waste problem. The city is also sinking into the ocean at a rate of 25 centimeters per year.
Bruce Allen with FMI says, “When Jakarta was designed, it was only designed to handle a few million people. The plan that has been talked about for many years was that they would divide the capital in two. The administrative, or the political side of the capital, would move to a totally different island, and yet the economic capital would remain in Jakarta.”
Allen compares the arrangement to the United States. Washington D.C. serves as the political capital, but the money flows through New York City.
Opportunities for ministry
The new capital city will be built in an area that holds very little population right now. But the new city will bring an influx of people. That’s an opportunity for local churches, Allen says.
He recently spoke to FMI partners on Borneo. “They’ve noted that new mosques are already being built in this area before a lot of people even arrive. The Muslim majority, they’re preparing for this influx of population. Yandi, our Director of Partnerships on the island, is saying we need to do the same thing. We need to have the church planters there now. We need to be fortifying what exists right now in what is a rural area, soon to become an urban area.”
People will flock to the new capital from islands and cultures across Indonesia. Pray for a strong Christian presence in the city.
The header photo shows a rural area of East Kalimantan, near where the new capital will be built. (Aidenvironment, 2005, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)