World’s largest Muslim nation sees persistent persecution

By May 27, 2010

Indonesia (MNN) — A recent closure of a church in West Java and a trip to Indonesia confirm Greg Musselman's suspicions of continuing persecution against Christians in the country.

Musselman, spokesman for Voice of the Martyrs, Canada, said though Indonesia is the world's largest Muslim nation, Christian and Muslim neighbors mostly live at peace with one another. However, reports of militant Muslim groups creating animosity sent Musselman and VOMC to the country to see firsthand.

"We're hearing stories of churches being destroyed, hundreds of these militant Muslim mobs showing up in front of these churches and trying to shut them down, people beaten up, driven away and all that kind of thing. So we wanted to go investigate," he said.

Musselman's visit confirmed these happenings, especially in the province of West Java on the island of Jakarta. According to AsiaNews, authorities just shut down a church in that region belonging to Gereja Kristen Indonesia (GKI), a Christian group, at the urging of a local extremist Islamic group.

Though persecution persists, Musselman said it is not as blatant: "It's not as intense as we've heard in the past. But there's still this underlying persecution taking place to intimidate."

Though the extremists are not being as violent, this intimidation leaves Christians apprehensive and terrified with whatever step they take.

No matter, Musselman said God is still at work in Indonesia. He has revealed his supernatural power, drawing Muslims to Him through dreams and visions and working on the hearts of others.

As a testimony to this work despite intimidation, Musselman visited an underground Bible institute, where nearly 70 percent of the students were from a Muslim background.

Now, Musselman said the response of Christians around the world should be to band together with Indonesian believers. "If one part of the body suffers, then we all suffer. So if it's believers in Indonesia or if it's believers in Mexico or Somalia, or Ethiopia–wherever it might be, we're joined with them and we need to be praying."

In addition to prayer, VOMC can use your financial support, which will go to help believers like the ones in Indonesia who are facing persecution every day.

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