Tragically, in early January a passenger plane crashed into the sea just a few minutes after take-off from Jakarta. Please pray for the families of those who lost their loved ones in the crash, including some children. Pray too for the investigations into the crash to lead to safety reviews and improved standards for low-cost airlines.
Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed.
— Isaiah 56:1
Indonesia is often subject to natural disasters due to its location, but this month has seen a whole series of challenging events across the archipelago, from earthquakes on the island of Sulawesi, to flooding that has displaced 20,000 people on the island of Kalimantan, and a volcanic eruption on the island of Java. Please pray for disaster response teams working in rescue and relief. Pray too for believers in the communities affected to be a blessing in the way they respond.
This month (January 2021) Indonesia started its covid-19 vaccination program, a challenging task for the world’s 4th most populous nation. The first priority groups are front-line health workers and the economically active. The vaccination will be provided free of charge. Please pray for smooth and rapid roll-out of the vaccine, as well as more supplies. Pray that the vaccines at the core of the program would prove to be effective.
Indonesia has seen a relatively slow rise in COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, helped by several rounds of semi-lockdown. The steady rise however means that this month there have sometimes been upwards of 10,000 new daily cases, several thousand of which are in the capital, Jakarta. Over 250 doctors have died so far from covid-19 related illness. In some areas hospitals are struggling to cope and some patients are not able to get treatment. Please pray for all those working very hard to save as many lives as they can with limited equipment and facilities.
COVID-19 is a solemn warning, reminding many of the brevity and uncertainty of life. Pray that many in Indonesia would be drawn back to the Bible for answers and assurance. Pray also for faithful, bold, and biblically-sound proclamation of the gospel from pastors and all Christians at such a time as this.
Bhinneka Tunggal Ika means diversity in unity in Bahasa Indonesia – an apt description for the Indonesian archipelago, which is made up of 416 ethnic groups with 719 languages. Although Islam is the main religion and Indonesia is home to the largest Muslim population in the world, Indonesia is a secular nation. Religious freedom is guaranteed under the five principles known as Pancasila. Indonesia recognizes six religions: Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Catholicism and Protestantism. The majority of Christians in Indonesia are Protestant. Christian communities are spread out unevenly, but most are in the eastern parts of Indonesia.
Strong investments and exports have enabled Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy, to enjoy 5-6 % economic growth in the last few years. Indonesia is an attractive market for foreign investments, mainly due to policy reforms of the government. However, liberalization of trade and markets not only brings in foreign funds, but also more foreign workers and professionals that compete for jobs. Despite economic growth, more than 10% of Indonesians still live below the poverty line, and about 40% remain vulnerable of falling into poverty.
Under Jokowi, Indonesia is undergoing rapid development. Massive construction of infrastructure is everywhere. The government is fulfilling its commitment to rural developments and the development of maritime economies. Despite the strong economic growth, Indonesia is struggling to support these rapid developments.
OMF in Indonesia
OMF began its ministry in 1952 in West Borneo amongst the Chinese. In partnership with other organizations, OMF helped establish various ministries such as student, medical, literature, music and radio work, and also bible colleges in many parts of Indonesia. In 1985, the Indonesian Home Council was established. The Home Council partners with churches in sending out Indonesian workers overseas.
While the church continues to grow and cross-cultural outreach is expanding, the Indonesian Home Council has not had many new members in the last few years. Many workers are urgently needed to reach out, train and establish partnerships with churches.
- Total: 261 million
- Javanese: 40%
- Sundanese: 15%
- Malay: 4%
- Batak: 4%
- Others: 37%
- (projections based on 2010 Badan Pusat Statistik)
- Muslim: 87%
- Christian: 10%
- Hindu: 2%
- Others: 1%
Lord, thank you for building your church in Indonesia. Amidst the rapid changes taking place in this country, we pray for wisdom and understanding on how to utilize the limited resources to reach out to the churches which are so spread out geographically. Please provide more workers, specifically volunteers, to support the various mobilization ministries.