(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Tuesday, Dec 27th, 2022, in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.
INDONESIA: Population: 278 million, Christians: 34 million
In real numbers, the Christian population in that country has grown by nearly 5 million people over the past decade, roughly a 21% increase.
Indonesia is the world’s fourth-most populous country, and the most populous Muslim-majority country, consists of hundreds of linguistic groups, and ranges from the Jakarta megacity to uncontacted tribes in Papua. About 8 million Indonesians live overseas – everywhere from Europe, Saudi Arabia, and the US. The government officially recognizes only six religions: Islam, Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism.
In recent years the Indonesian society has taken on a more conservative Islamic character, putting added pressure on Christians. Many converts from Islam experience pressure from their families to return to Islam. There are also converts from Hinduism in Bali.
Churches that engage in evangelistic outreach are at risk of being targeted by Islamic extremist groups. There are certain hotspots, such as West Java or Aceh, where extremist groups are strong and exert a strong influence on society and politics. In some regions, church groups face difficulties getting permission to build churches. Even if they manage to fulfill all legal requirements (including winning court cases), the local authorities still often ignore them.
What has changed? Sadly, the main cause is an increase in violence. The primary hotbed of persecution in Indonesia is Aceh in the northwestern tip of Sumatra, the only province that is governed by Shariah law. Churches were closed on a large scale in October 2015 and the building of new churches there is much more difficult than in other provinces. In fact, it is virtually impossible. Converts from Islam are vulnerable to severe opposition in many parts of Indonesia but converts in Aceh probably face the greatest pressure.
• Pray for President Joko Widodo that he and his government will respect and protect the Christian minority citizens.
• Pray for God’s comfort and healing for all those affected by the recent attacks on Christians.
• Pray that Christians will be given wisdom and boldness as they follow Jesus in a society that is taking on an increasingly conservative Islamic character.
• Pray the influence of extremist Islamic groups will be snuffed out; ask the Lord to reveal Himself to those who oppose Him.
• Pray to the Lord that He will reveal Himself to those who oppose Him in a way that speaks to their hearts.
• Pray to the Lord that He will break the stronghold of the forces of darkness in the Aceh province, the only one with Sharia law.
• Pray for Christians to build peaceful relations with local religious leaders and government officials.
• Pray to the Lord that He will open doors for permits to be granted for church construction.
• Pray that Christians have good internet coverage where they live and that the messages will edify them, as well as touch unbelievers who serve the net.
• Pray for the NGOs and their partners.
• Pray for wisdom and strength for their ministry partners, who help when Christians suffer physical attacks and expulsion from their families and communities for choosing to follow Christ. This through advocacy, relief, and practical aid, along with bible deliveries and biblical training.
• Pray for church leaders to be protected in their communities from false accusations of inciting religious hatred.
• Pray that the Lord will give believers boldness and courage to witness and to hold His hand of protection over them.
• Pray that persecuted believers will not become bitter and be able to love and forgive.
• Hebrews 10:24-25 “Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another.” – Pray for followers of Jesus to overcome all obstacles in order to make meeting together a high priority in their lives.
• Pray for unreached people groups (UPGs) – Out of the 789 people groups in Indonesia, 235 are still unreached. Pray for God to send believers to these unreached people groups to share the gospel. Pray His glory would spread to every people group.
• Ephesians 6:18-19 – “To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel” – pray fervently for our Indonesian brothers and sisters to stand firm in their faith.
• Matthew 9:37-38 – “Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore, pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” – Let’s pray God raises up laborers from churches, and from other nations.
Again, we want to lift these persecuted witnesses to the Lord:
- Leah Sharibu, a prisoner of Boko Haram since 2018, pray for her release.
- Alice Loksha Ngaddah, kidnapped February 2019. She is a mother of two, working as a nurse for UNICEF. Pray for her release.
- Pray For Pastor Wang Yi to be released from prison.
- Pray for Anita to make an easy transition into her new culture and that the Lord will be gracious in bringing her family members where they too will be able to freely worship our Lord without fear.
- For the release of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from Iran, and his family as their persecution continues. Pastor Nadarkhani is serving the second year of his six-year sentence, recently reduced from ten years.
- “I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me” (Acts 26:18)
Michael Laird, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Moderator
Prayer Conference Call Details
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
From any location on your phone
USA Time Zone:
9:00 PM Eastern
8:00 PM Central
7:00 PM Mountain
6:00 PM Pacific
Call in number: (667) 770-1476
Access Code: 281207#
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What is Persecution Watch?
Persecution Watch is a U.S. national prayer conference call ministry that prays specifically for the global Persecuted Church. For over a decade, Blaine Scogin led this national network of believers who faithfully pray for the persecuted and the global harvest for the Kingdom of God. The group meets via a free call-in service every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday night at 9pm Eastern time in the United States (please check your time zone). Blaine also served as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted, and the missions became one. Brother Blaine passed into glory on December 26, 2019. It was truly a blessing for all of us to serve alongside this dear man of God and he will be greatly missed. The prayer mission of Persecution Watch remains an important part of our mission. Voice of the Persecuted is committed to continue the prayer conference call for the persecuted along with the dedicated Persecution Watch prayer warrior team.
Prior to the passing of Brother Blaine, he confirmed the passing of the torch as prayer conference call leader to Nadia Dybvik. Nadia has a burdened heart for the persecuted and is a prayer warrior standing in the gap for them. She joined the Persecution Watch prayer team in 2013 and has been part of the core ever since. Before becoming the prayer call leader, she served in the role of prayer moderator since 2015. Blaine chose Nadia for her faithfulness to pray for the persecuted and her strong commitment to the Persecution Watch mission. We are blessed not only with her gift of prayer, but her genuine love for every brother and sister in Christ that comes on the call to pray. May the Lord continue to bless Nadia and the prayer team in the mission and their personal lives.
“Pray for us” is the number one request that we hear from the persecuted. As the members of the first century Church were moved by the Holy Spirit to pray, we too must continue to serve those suffering persecution by lifting them up to the Lord through prayer.
On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the conference call to share the trials they are facing. The team serves to encourage them by washing their feet in Spirit led prayer. Time is often reserved for those on the call to ask questions. We believe this helps to gain a better understanding of the situation that persecuted Christians endure in their specific nations. Q&A also helps us to focus our prayers based on their current needs.
Persecution Watch also hosts callers who want to pray united from other nations. If your heart is perplexed by the sufferings of our persecuted brothers and sisters, you no longer need to pray alone.
We welcome all who desire to pray for the persecuted church and consider it a joy to pray together with you. If you are new to the call and cannot find your voice, listen in and pray silently or on mute. We are grateful and thank the Lord for bringing us all together to pray in agreement for our persecuted family in Christ. We can all be prayer warriors on this call!
God bless and protect you in your faithfulness to serve.
Lois Kanalos, Founder, Voice of the Persecuted, Nadia Dybvik, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Leader and the Persecution Watch Prayer Team
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Note to Voice of the Persecuted (VOP) readers: The Persecution Watch prayer team is also the prayer team of Voice of the Persecuted. SIGN UP today.