Islam Getting More Radical in Indonesia

02/07/2019 Indonesia (International Christian Concern) – Although Indonesia is a Muslim-majority country, it is unlike Malaysia and Brunei, where they employ Sharia law to govern state affairs. However, its pride of pluralism has come under threat in the last few years thanks to the rise of radicalism.

Mission Network News reports that a Christian from Indonesia recently shares about his observation on his country’s latest shift in Christian-Muslim dynamics.

Santoso said, “[…] in the last two years, we are now seeing that Islam, it’s getting more radical and they try to make the politics combine with the religion. So they try to make their agenda. Like before they had [in] their agenda that in 2020 Indonesia [would be] becoming an Islamic country. But it’s not happening, but they are still trying and getting bigger now, the Islamic radicalization in Indonesia.”

Even wishing someone “Merry Christmas!” can cause tension now. Santoso shares that saying “Merry Christmas” was common between Christians and Muslims 15 years ago. But today many imams and other Islamic leaders in Indonesia discourage Muslims from acknowledging the holiday even in speech.

Santoso still remains hopeful because every cloud has a silver lining. “We are [encountering] more difficult[ies] in starting a conversation because many people think that we have a motive behind what we are doing. But the other thing is that it is good for the Christian. Because Christians in the last 10 years, we are so comfortable. Because of the things that happen, we are [constantly saying], because of the persecution of Christianity we are more awake. So this is like the good things for us because the Christians are more awake.”

He went on to ask for prayers for boldness. He asks that people pray for Indonesians to be outward-looking, confident in their faith and bold in sharing, that they would build bridges and share with their neighbors about their hope in Christ.

For interviews with Gina Goh, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org

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