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%
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
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More recent developments in political, religious and Church scenes are causes for thanksgiving, even if not immediately obvious points for praise. These include:
a) The transition to true democracy, although still in a fragile state. The more moderate government has blunted the harsh excesses of the military and of theocratic Islamists. Democracy allows moderates and Christians to have a voice and to help shape Indonesia's future, without fear of reprisal.
b) The increasing openness of moderate Muslims repelled by the harsh extremism of Islamists. The strict legalism of Islam also makes Christianity more attractive to animists.
c) High levels of persecution have caused great suffering, but also greater unity among Christians and greater dependence on God.
d) The development of national structures that serve and build the Indonesian Church. These include the Indonesian Peoples Network (IPN), a burgeoning national prayer network, plus international networks having an impact in Indonesia through research, intercession and mission.
For an additional 10 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.
The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Indonesia.