Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Join the Prayer Movement

The flag of Indonesia

A map of Indonesia class=

click map to enlarge

A locator map of Indonesia

click map to enlarge

click graph for key



Republic of Indonesia


See Prayer Information


Area: 1,919,317 sq km

The Republic’s 17,500 islands (6,000 inhabited) stretch over 9.5 million sq km of the Indian/Pacific Oceans, with 33 provinces, 5 of which have special status. Includes the world’s second-largest rain forest and vast coral reefs.

Population: 232,516,771    Annual Growth: 1.19%

Capital: Jakarta

Urbanites: 53.7%

HDI Rank: 111 of 182 (UN Human Development Reports 2009)


Peoples: 784 (26% unreached) All peoples
Unreached Peoples Prayer Card

Official language: Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia). Its increasing use is unifying the nation and lessening the importance of smaller languages to the younger generation    Languages: 722 All languages


Largest Religion: Muslim

Religion               Pop %Ann Gr


Challenges for Prayer

The creeping Islamization of Indonesia is eroding religious freedom and the long-prevailing communal tolerance. Islam itself is remarkably varied – the santri puritanical Islam; the abangan, a more Sufist interpretation heavily influenced by pre-Islamic Javanese mysticism; the Islam of modern secular-moderate Muslims. However, it is generally the more conservative, aggressive, fundamentalist groups that continue to grow in power, partly by intimidating other Muslims into acquiescence. There are many reasons to pray:

a) The Islamist vision of an Indonesia without Christians generates pressure and persecution, often yielding violence, destruction and atrocities. This is manifest through:

     i Domination by presence. Massive mosque-building programmes – paid for through petrodollars – introduce a Muslim presence on every corner of the nation and are usually associated with the more radical, aggressive splinters of Islamic practice. Transmigration programmes deliberately relocate Muslims into traditionally non-Muslim areas. This is ostensibly due to overpopulation, but demonstrably includes religious colonization.

     ii Domination by eradication. The aim is the complete elimination of Christianity in the country. An orchestrated Islamic jihad against Christians destroyed thousands of churches in the last decade, and some areas with large Christian populations (such as parts of Maluku) are subject to attacks. A Christian presence has been eradicated from whole towns and regions, with great loss of life and property..
Pray that these plans might be frustrated and come to ruin, that what some intend for evil God may turn out for good. Pray for their own religious hatred and violence to discredit Muslim extremism and cause many persecutors to become believers.
Pray that these plans might be frustrated and come to ruin, that what some intend for evil God may turn out for good. Pray for their own religious hatred and violence to discredit Muslim extremism and cause many persecutors to become believers.

b) The more than 45 million abangan Muslims and even greater numbers of moderate and nominal Muslims are often victims of extremist intimidation. Tens of thousands of abangan (still influenced by pre-Islamic animism and Hinduism) have been killed over the years by Malay- and Arab-influenced santri. Pray for many Muslims to grow disillusioned with the violence and oppression – so that they may seek a true relationship with God through Christ.

c) The secular government and national leaders require great courage to actually oppose the excesses of the Islamist agenda. Pray that they would intervene to stop religious violence when it occurs; pray that they would be strong enough to withstand and even to limit the influence extremists exert over the country.

d) The courts, legal systems and constitution still guarantee religious freedom and offer the foundation for a stable, diverse society. Shari’a-inspired laws are being passed in more and more communities and even in entire provinces. This imposition of such religious apartheid spells disaster for non-Muslims.

e) The Christian response to Islamic aggression is as crucial as the aggression itself. Pray for Christians to respond with tact and love, but also firmness, and in all ways to commend the gospel. Pray that fear of witnessing might be replaced by courage to share about Jesus. Pray also for heartfelt repentance among all Christians for the ways they have damaged their witness by attitudes and actions of enmity and reprisals toward Muslims.

     For an additional 10 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.

More Information

The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Indonesia.