On Friday 4 November, thousands of people gathered to protest against the governor of Indonesia’s capital.
Protesters burn rubbish.
Photo: (Antara/Muhammad Adimaja)
The governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama – known as Ahok, is a Christian man.
Hard-line Muslim protesters have demanded his arrest. It is alleged that he made blasphemous comments about the Quran.
These allegations came after Ahok said his opponents (in the upcoming February elections) had deceived voters by attacking him using a verse from the Quran. The verse implies Muslims should not have a non-Muslim as a leaders.
Ipin* and Rudi* are Christians, formerly Muslims, who were imprisoned for three years for sharing their faith. They recently shared with us what Ramadan means for them now.
Ramadan: Blind Act or By Choice?
When Ipin was a Muslim, he did not fast regularly during Ramadan. And when he did, it was for the sake of pleasing his parents.
He knew from Islamic studies that the main purpose of fasting was to purify oneself from earthly sins, but he felt most didn’t fast for that reason. “They are just following the elders’ tradition, and thus their attitude and habits during Ramadan are no different than any other days,” says Ipin. “My neighbors would scold me each time I didn’t fast, but I challenged them, asking why they fasted. Is it because of their parents, or is it by their own choice?” Continue reading
North Korea ranked number one
North Korea – Watch tower as seen from the Yalu river
North Korea ranks number one for the 14th consecutive year in the Open Doors World Watch List, ranking the top 50 countries that persecute Christians. The Hermit Kingdom has ranked number one again as leader Kim Jong Un continues to try and stamp out organised religion in what he views as a challenge to his power. Continue reading
We asked our CEO, Mike, to tell us what has challenged or encouraged him in his faith this year. These were his answers…
1. Indonesia: ‘We will not stop hunting Christians’
‘We will not stop hunting Christians’ – these have to be some of the most chilling words I heard from last year, words used by extremists after they had burnt this church down. This image really brings to life the reality of persecution in Indonesia. It’s an image that for me really conveys stress, anxiety, pressure and fear.
2. Egypt: 21 Christians killed, Believers respond with love Continue reading
A church set on fire by Islamic Extremists in Aceh, Indonesia.
A church was burnt down and a further nine destroyed by police in Aceh, Indonesia. A large mob set fire to one church and threatened others before being disbanded and congregation members wept as they watched police destroy other churches.
On the 6 October a large crowd of Islamic Extremists gathered to protest the continued use of unregistered church buildings. After this demonstration and ongoing demands for closures, the local regency agreed that 10 unregistered church buildings in the area would be closed.
Not satisfied with the response of the government, a text message was sent around to local Islamic groups, encouraging them to destroy any local churches that were unregistered. On 13 October, a large crowd of Muslims marched around government offices before setting fire to and destroying the International Christian Church. Continue reading