Becoming Christian Threatens Her Job: Yaya’s Story
By ICC’s Indonesia Correspondent
06/25/2021 Indonesia (International Christian Concern) – Yaya has long been curious about Christianity and had a desire to participate in Christian rituals. However, she had no idea how to join a Christian community. She was never invited by a friend or even had Christianity explained to her.
Yaya is the only child of parents who divorced when she was very young. Her father converted from Christianity to Islam, and her mother is a Muslim. Yaya received Muslim education in Surabaya City, where her mother raised her. When she was little, she and her mother often moved before they settled in her mother’s hometown of Makassar. Yaya was 18 when she moved to Makassar. She got a job at a private bank, and there she met a Christian man who would later become her boyfriend, Uda. Uda is a faithful follower of Christ. Before they committed to a relationship, Uda told Yaya that he would never abandon his faith in Jesus Christ.
Yaya agreed to this, mostly because she had long been interested in Jesus Christ. When she learned her father was a Christian, she felt that maybe there was a remnant of his faith inside of her. She began to attend church with Uda, and she was overjoyed that her knowledge of Jesus grew each day. Eventually, Yaya decided to get baptized, which made her even more enthusiastic about her new life in Christ. However, Yaya did not have the courage to tell her mother about her newfound faith. Every time she would leave the house to go to worship, she had to give her mother various excuses.
After a while, her mother grew suspicious of Yaya’s habits. Every Sunday, Yaya would leave the house and go somewhere with her boyfriend dressed in decent clothing. Her mother began to wonder why Yaya looked like a Christian. She had already expressed to Yaya that she disapproved of her relationship with Uda because Uda was a Christian. However, Yaya did not listen to her mother’s advice to stay away from Uda.
On one occasion, Yaya and Uda decided to celebrate Easter at the central church in Surabaya. While they were there, Yaya met her mother’s best friend, who told Yaya the truth about her origins. Yaya found out that when she was very young, she had been abandoned by her biological parents and taken in by her Muslim mother. When she discovered this, Yaya finally decided to tell her mother that now she had become a Christian.
Arriving in Makassar, Yaya admitted to her mother that she had become a follower of Jesus, participated in church activities, and had even been baptized. Her mother was furious and emotional; she began to hit Yaya and even threatened her. She pointed a knife at Yaya and said, “Let’s die together!” Her mother did not stop there and even contacted a radical Muslim organization to report Uda for turning her daughter into a Christian.
On June 8, 2021, the Muslim organization sent a letter to the office where Yaya and Uda worked. In the letter, the organization accused the office of Christianization and requested that Uda be fired. They threatened to sue the company if they did not comply. The company leadership panicked and asked Yaya and Uda to resolve this issue internally with Yaya’s family. Yaya begged her mother to withdraw the lawsuit, but her mother’s condition was that Yaya reconverts to Islam. As a result of this subpoena, Uda and Yaya were threatened with dishonorable expulsion from the workplace. The situation is still unresolved, so please pray for Yaya and Uda as they walk through this difficult time.
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