Rescuing and serving persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

ICC Note: According to Evangelical Focus, evangelicalism in Muslim-majority countries in Southeast Asia including Malaysia and Indonesia is on the rise, with about 10 percent of the population being Christians. A report by The Economist also states that Asia has one of the fastest growing Evangelical and Pentecostal Christianity population growth in the world. Many countries in Southeast Asia are Muslim-majority and have made it difficult for Muslims to convert to Christianity. Yet despite the challenges, Christianity continues to grow in a steady rate. 

01/10/2018 (Christian Today) – Evangelicalism in Muslim-majority countries in Southeast Asia including Malaysia and Indonesia is on the rise with roughly ten percent of the population in both countries being Christian. This comes at a time when bureaucrats are making it difficult for churches largely because of the fear that they will convert members of the Muslim majority.

According to Andreas Harsono of the Human Rights Watch via Evangelical Focus, more than 1,000 churches were closed in Indonesia between 2006 and 2010. The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) called out the Indonesian government to “revise the law on the establishment of worship places without any discrimination among the various religions and beliefs that exist in Indonesia.”

In Malaysia, it is illegal for a Muslim to convert to Christianity even though freedom of religion is enshrined in the country’s constitution. Additionally, Malaysia has established an Islamic police force to make sure that Muslims do not marry adherents of other religions. However, these measures have not been enough to hinder the rapid growth of Evangelicalism in the country.

According to a report by The Economist, Asia has one of the fastest growing Evangelical and Pentacostal Christianity population growth in the world, from 17 million in 1970 to 200 million in 2015. The largest congregations are in the Philippines and South Korea where mega-churches hold tens of thousands of people.

In Singapore, Evangelicalism first took off in the 1980s and since then, mega-churches have been erected even though the government is wary of proselytisers potentially stirring up religious tensions. Evangelicals, including many Pentecostals, made up 8 percent of the population in 2015, up from 2 percent in 1970.

 

[Full Story]

 

For additional information or for an interview, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator at press@persecution.org.