|Region||East and Southeast Asia|
|Leader||President Joko Widodo (Jokowi)|
|Population||263 510 000|
“God is using my past to connect with Muslims.”
Indonesia is made of 17 000 islands that host the world’s largest Islamic nation. It is a country that has long been held up as a symbol of Islamic tolerance. This title unfortunately has begun to slip, as Christians are experiencing greater levels of persecution. It’s a diverse, fast developing country with many different cultures and religions present. But this is under threat as many extremist groups have become more vocal recently.
Churches are not usually opposed by the government, but neither are they supported. One such place this has occurred is in West Java where GKI Yasmin church members were unable to use their building. Extremists insisted the church could no longer use their building and the governor banned them. When the church appealed, the government ruled in their favour, but took no action to change the situation. There is also an increasing opposition to Christians, illustrated by the Christian governor of Jakarta, “Ahok”, sentenced to two years in prison due to an alleged case of blasphemy.
The most effective way Open Doors is assisting is through education programmes. One of the programmes is called Standing Strong Through the Storm. In this course participants learn how to endure persecution and what to expect. There are also lectures held in Bible colleges and churches to prepare believers for persecution. Bibles and Christian literature are provided, as well as socioeconomic development programmes.