With presidential elections taking place on September 20, church leaders want guarantees of protection from the incoming Chief.
They are asking for an end to discrimination of minority groups in Indonesia, the most populous Muslim country in the world. 87 percent (174 million) of it’s 201 million inhabitants are Muslim.
The persecution of Christians doesn’t extend to the whole country but the impression has created problems for mission groups there.
Debbie Wittig is a teacher at a Christian school in East Java. The school was founded by OMS International but now is an extended missions cooperative.
She explains that the stories of persecution in Indonesia have caused concern for prospective missionaries. “I suppose because people think Indonesia is a dangerous country, they are afraid to go there as missionaries, and we desperately need more teachers, and a principal for next school year.”
Wittig says that since students there come from abroad, the school will not face the same difficulties from militant Muslims as a school with an Indonesian student body might.
Still, the staff has to exert restraint when it comes to overt evangelism. Wittig says that the school itself doesn’t engage in that activity. However a Christian worldview comes through in the curriculum. “Pray that we would be faithful, and not be afraid, but to be bold where we can, when we can, but not to be offensive… to know the difference, I guess.”