Indonesian Democracy wins, but danger remains for Christians

By November 3, 2004

Indonesia (MNN)– The month of Ramadan, which Muslims mark by fasting during the daytime, is often accompanied by an increase in religious fervor.

That may account for the rise in sectarian violence against churches and Christians throughout the archipelago.

Another reason may be the inauguration of a new president. Even with administration promises to address sectarian and security issues, there’s been a marked rise of violence against Christians.

Voice of the Martyrs’ Todd Nettleton says rebels are trying to increase their influence in a new government by creating an administrative diversion. “If the government is less stable, if the government has less power, they’re less likely to stand strong against radical Islam to stand strong on behalf of religious freedom, on behalf of getting along and living side by side in peace rather than in violence.”

Nettleton says that applies to their work as well. “For ministries who are working there, obviously, the biggest question is safety. ‘Is it safe for us to meet?’ ‘Is it safe for us to do our work?’ ‘Is it safe for us to be here?’ When you’re thinking about safety, you’re thinking less about ministry, and that’s to distract from that ministry by making people worry.”

Pray that those involved in ministry would not be afraid; pray too for their safety.

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