Passion week peaceful in largest Muslim nation

By April 6, 2010

Indonesia (MNN) — Peace rang through the country of Indonesia as the holiest week of the year was commemorated around the largest Muslim nation in the world. Thousands of Christians packed churches and sang during Easter services, largely uninterrupted. That peace is having a positive impact on community radio ministry supported by HCJB Global Voice.

President of HCJB Global Wayne Pederson just returned from the region. He says, "Even though it's the largest Islamic country in the world, we're seeing remarkable, amazing breakthroughs with the Gospel — going into some of the remote villages as well as some of the largest cities in Indonesia."

According to Pederson, they're doing it through radio and what's called Community FMs. "Our Community FMs have information on health, nutrition, how to raise your family, how to manage your finances, but we also have opportunities to present the Gospel and play some indigenous Christian Music."

As that happens, "People start texting, or calling, or sending e-mail, many of them asking how they can have a relationship with Jesus Christ, And we can point them to a local church," says Pederson.

According to Pederson, this is happening. One of their partners has a two-minute feature called Words of Wisdom–a program that teaches biblical values. "Recently, he had an Imam from one of the mosques come to him and say, 'I listen to your feature every day. I'm wondering if I could get copies of it and use it in the mosque. I want to teach these principles in the mosque.'"

While HCJB Global is helping the partnership, Pederson says it consists of local leadership with local goals. "They have a goal to plant 100 radio stations all across Indonesia — one station in every province. And they're only limited by people. They need people who know how to do radio. That's why we go in and train."

Pederson was in Indonesia to help train 22 managers on biblical leadership, station management, financial management, production, research, hiring, promotion and fundraising. "These station managers were like sponges, just soaking up everything we had to teach them."

Pederson says these stations are having an impact. "We're seeing three or four people every day at each station coming to Christ as a result of the broadcast. So, that's very, very encouraging."

It's not coming without a price, however. Pederson says one manager has faced persecution. "He was called in by the authorities and questioned for 10 hours. They asked: 'Why are you here? Who's supporting you? What's your intention?' Then they put him in jail for a couple of hours before releasing him."

Pray for protection for the team currently working in the region. Pray also that these stations would continue to be effective in leading people to Christ.

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