The Washington Post said it well:
President Obama raised eyebrows in the human rights world when he bestowed lavish praise on Indonesia‘s human rights record, particularly with regards to free speech and religious freedom. (Ashley McGuire, Washington Post, 11/9/2009)
The Constitutional Court upheld the constitutionality of Indonesia’s Blasphemy Act, which criminalizes speech or acts considered offensive to government approved religions as well as “deviations from teachings of religion considered fundamental by scholars of the relevant religion. (McGuire/Post)
It should raise eyebrows at Xenos because we have missionaries in Indonesia, and for a long time we have been covert in our communications with them because Christian persecution is so rampant.
According to Voice of the Martyrs, which tracks global persecution, Indonesia is a very dangerous place for Christians. Among the many documented persecutions underway:
- Islamist groups have carried out jihad or holy war against Christian communities, particularly in the Moluccas and Central Sulawesi, with military cooperation.
- Thousands of mujahedin were mobilized, hundreds of churches were destroyed and Christians were forced to convert to Islam.
- Provences there such as Aceh have imposed (or are currently passing legislation for) Sharia or Islamic law.
The stories of persecution are quite chilling from the VOM Web site. They provide a great list of prayer needs which we should seriously consider praying about, especially while our president is glossing over these crimes on his current Indonesian trip.
- Pray that peace will continue in the areas where violence once reigned.
- Pray that Christians in Indonesia will have the freedom to share their faith without fear.
- Pray that those pushing for a stricter Islamic state will fail and that Indonesia will truly be free for believers of all religions.
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