“The government might say it is closed to the Gospel, but that does not mean its citizens’ hearts are closed to the Gospel. Time after time, we were hearing firsthand reports about what God has been doing, even in small congregations to impact [their] communities. Sometimes with 90 or 100 percent of the Muslim majority community engaging in the Gospel and having spiritual conversations with the Christian minority,” Allen explains.
Life continues to grow increasingly difficult for Christians, but the persecution is not scaring them into silence. Instead, many are confronting it with gentleness and a Christ-like demeanor. While in Indonesia, Allen was told a story of the events which unfolded at an FMI-supported pastor’s church during Christmas of 2018.
A Christmas Story
During the Christmas celebrations at Pastor Sukmo’s church, about 100 Muslim households rioted outside. Rather than remaining indoors, Pastor Sukmo met the demonstrators outside the church, hoping to calm down the mob. Pastor Sukmo asked the demonstrators why they were making such a commotion, to which some responded ‘You did not invite us to your Christmas celebration. We want to come learn about Jesus and why He came to earth’.
“A devout Muslim would know that Jesus was born of a virgin, had come as God’s Word to humanity and was sinless and the miracle worker. But that’s about all they know. They don’t know about the forgiveness that He offers, the touch of compassion that He has on people’s life, grace and mercy, and transformation. And so, the Muslims are beginning to have the Christians talk about Jesus. Tell me more about Jesus,” Allen relays.
Immediately, Pastor Sukmo and his congregation invited the crowd into the Church where they encountered the message of the Gospel.
“We were just hearing story after story about how Muslims are coming to faith in Jesus Christ. And it was happening at a time when traditionally militant Muslims were attacking the churches,” Allen says.
Pray for Indonesia
Pray for the Indonesian Church to continue boldly and creatively sharing Christ. Ask God to continue moving in the hearts of those who oppose the Church in Indonesia so that these people would come into a relationship with Christ. Also, pray for Pastor Sukmo’s church and the individuals who have found new hope in Christ.
*The Open Doors World Watch List is a ranking for the top 50 countries where it is most difficult to live as a Christian. Find the World Watch List here.
Header photo courtesy of FMI