Indonesia, our neighbour
Indonesia is a close neighbour to Australia and has a population of over 266 million with around 56% of this population living on the island of Java. About 87% of the population are Muslim and 4.1% Protestant. Indonesia has been in the news quite a bit over the past few days due to bombings occurring at three churches and the police headquarters in Indonesia’s second biggest city of Surabaya. These bombings have been frightening, shocking and saddening for the Christian community in Indonesia.
For me these bombings have hit a personal note.
I’ve lived in Indonesia in the past and went back to visit my friends there last year. I’ve visited the city of Surabaya before and have friends who live there who are Christians and would have been at church on the day of these bombings. I’m sad for the Christian community in Indonesia and particularly my friends who have had a frightening few days. I’m sad for the families who have lost loved ones through these attacks and I’m sad for those who were involved in the attacks. When I read the articles and found out that families had been involved in perpetrating these attacks, with the youngest child being 8 years old, it almost broke my heart. I don’t think I will ever be able to understand what drives people to perform such destructive attacks, let along involve their families in the attacks.
How do we as Christians respond to events like these bombings that happen close to our country and to our brothers and sisters in Christ?
The simple answer, with love and prayer. Sadly, as much as I would love to do something to make it all stop, we cannot stop these types of attacks from happening but we can change the way we respond. If we respond in hate and anger it’s like pouring fuel on the fire, it’s feeding the culture of hate. We can respond by praying for our world and in particular right now Indonesia. Our world is full of sin and will be until Jesus returns so we cannot do anything to stop the sinful acts of this world. Only Jesus can make a real change in our world.
How can we pray for Indonesia in the wake of this attack?
And how can we continue to pray for our world in the wake of regular attacks?
- Pray for the families who have lost loved ones in these recent attacks
- Pray for Christians who are currently persecuted, for God to continue to provide them strength and wisdom
- Pray that the Churches effected by these attacks will be able to show God’s great love to those around them, particularly those who have attacked them
- Pray that many people would hear the good news of a saviour, Jesus, who came to pay the price for our sin and heal this world
- Pray for the Muslim community all around the world as they have just begun Ramadan this week. Pray that they would come to know the true and living God through, Jesus Christ, our saviour and king.