Open Doors USA credits the power of prayer for pastor’s early release from prison in Indonesia.

By November 12, 2004

Indonesia (MNN) — Indonesian authorities released a Christian pastor this week almost a year earlier than his original release date.

Imprisoned on what many believe were false charges, Rev. Rinaldy Damanik has been a prominent figure in peace negotiations between warring Muslim and Christian communities on the island of Sulawesi.

Influential in Damanik’s release was a leading Muslim cleric named Idrus. R. al Habsy, who, after hearing of Damanik’s campaign for peace, advocated for his release. He wrote to the Minister of Justice and Human rights in Damanik’s defense, declaring him to be a “man of good character” who “should be allowed to go free.” Just three days after writing the letter, the elderly Idrus passed away from a serious illness, but his actions paved the way for Damanik’s early release.

Damanik’s freedom comes as a great answer to the prayers of thousands of Christians around the world, says Open Doors, USA President Dr. Carl Moeller, and happened just days before the International Day of prayer for the Persecuted Church on November 14. Damanik and his family are thankful for those who prayed for his release.

While Damanik was imprisoned, Open Doors USA held a letter-writing campaign for him, and he received 26,866 letters and cards from Christians all over the world, many in response to that campaign. Damanik said that the encouragement and support he received while in prison really touched his heart, and he is grateful to all who gave him support.

Damanik plans to continue what he was doing before–working toward peace and justice in Indonesia.

Some people fear he may become the next target of the mysterious killings that have left 6 Christians dead and 11 injured since April.

Pray for Rev. Damanik as he works toward peace in Indonesia, that he will be protected and his work rewarded. Pray for many believers worldwide who suffer daily persecution and imprisonment for the Gospel.

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