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06/17/2022 Indonesia (International Christian Concern) – The Islamic caliphate movement in Indonesia, a Muslim-majority country, is gaining considerable ground despite both governmental and grassroots pressure to suppress its spread.

Indonesian authorities have taken steps to ban some hardline Islamic organizations, including Hizb ut-Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) and the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI). However, radicalized militants who believe that Indonesia should be a caliphate are continuing to be vocal.

Last year, the founder of FPI, Muhuammad Riqieq Shihab, was arrested and jailed on charges that included blasphemy and hate speech. However, new leaders quickly emerged for the group, who were just as intent on bringing about Muslim rule in Indonesia.

In addition, it many of the jihadists seem to have abandoned violent terror attacks in favor of more peaceful strategies, including preaching, to gain wider recognition and avoid arrest. They have amassed many followers and established many centers across the country.

In addition, jihadists are now working with Muslim communities and seeking to infiltrate Indonesian politics by rallying around certain Islamic-based parties and endorsing politicians that are sympathetic to the creation of the “Islamic State of Indonesia.”

The government of Indonesia currently supports the secular ideology of Pancasila, which affirms respect for all religions and does not seek to promote one over the other.

Khilafatul Muslimin, one of the oldest groups seeking a caliphate through preaching and that is well received by many Muslim communities, has made national headlines in recent weeks.

After decades of operating under the radar with its mosques, schools, and even a university, it has started making its extremist leanings more publicly known.

The group that previously seemed to have a purely religious mission has now spoken openly about replacing Indonesia’s secular ideology of Pancasila with a radical Islamic one.

On June 7, police arrested its supreme leader, Abdul Qadir Hasan Baraja, for rejecting the government’s secular ideology and seeking to establish an Islamic caliphate.

Please pray for Indonesia and that the groups who support a caliphate do not gain much ground in the upcoming elections.

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