Student Ministry in Indonesia Strengthens Its Leadership to Overcome Persecution

( [email protected] ) Dec 20, 2003 12:17 PM EST

A ministry that operates a seminary in Indonesia is in action to stop persecution against Christians from spreading the gospel.

The Inter-National Needs Network (IN) operates a seminary in Jakarta with 1,200 students. IN spokesman Harvey Stuart says all students at the seminary are involved in extensive evangelism training throughout the Muslim country during Christmas season despite harsh persecutions they have to face such as violence, including the killing of people and the burning of churches. According to Stuart, at times the fundamentalist Muslims seem to be winning the battle in turning Indonesia into a total Muslim country.

"There is a lot of persecution," Stuart says, "and the fundamental Muslim group has been trying to eliminate other religions."

"They have tried not to let the problems stop their ministry," he says. "Of course, even the seminary itself has been invaded a few times, and there have been a lot of threats against the seminary. But they've basically been trying to work in spite of the fear of persecution."

The IN Network's mission is to help Christians serve God in their own countries focusing on the countries where Western missionaries are unable to do front-line mission work. The ministry trains the natives to become excellent leaders of evangelism and supports the buildling of ministries that “indigenize” the gospel.

One of the reknown Christian leaders has recognized the work of IN Network and praised its vision. Author and apologist Dr. Ravi Zacharias calls the ministry "biblical in its foundation" and "timely in its structure." Zacharias adds that the ministry's strategy, "the harnessing of national leaders as a means to penetrate their own culture with the gospel at all levels of society," is one of the greatest opportunities in modern missions.

Soon 190 students from IN's seminary in Jakarta will go on a six-month evangelism mission throughout Indonesia to battle against dominant population of Muslims.