Indonesia is the fourth most populous nation in the world, with both the world's largest Muslim population and largest number of Protestant Christians in Asia. The current economic crisis is affecting every Indonesian, causing further delays in access to clean water and health care, etc. Unemployment and food prices are rising, and this will mean that fewer children will go to school, violence caused by economic and political uncertainty will increase, and churches will continue to suffer for lack of resources.
Christian dialogue with Muslims, Hindus and indigenous faiths is an important part of the church's ministry in all parts of Indonesia. Since 1998, misunderstanding, careless derisive comments, and criticism from one religious group against another have sparked riots, church and mosque burnings, and mass killings. Religious leaders have tried to encourage all sides to end the violence, and to enter into discussions through meetings, seminars, and workshops that will foster understanding among peoples of faith.
Pray for: Those affected by conflict, who have lost homes, family members, livelihood, and being part of a community. Pray that they hold on to hope, and that they will feel God's presence in each other, and in those who give them comfort. May God open our eyes to the suffering of people whom we see only in pictures, but to whom we are connected through our common humanity, created in God's image.
Church leaders in Indonesia, that they will keep building bridges among Christians in that region, and between Christians and their neighbors of other faiths. We pray for the spirit of unity and grace to work among the leaders of Indonesia as they build a truly democratic system of government which will bring peace and justice throughout the nation.