Underground church growing in Muslim Indonesia


Pentecostals on the tsunami-ravaged coast of Indonesia are experiencing a wave of conversions and healings, reports Charisma News Online.

In the strongly Muslim Aceh province of northern Sumatra—where 167,000 people died in the 2004 tsunami—the underground church movement is growing, with Pentecostal congregations thriving.

Indonesia has an official policy of religious tolerance, but in Muslim-dominated areas Christians face open hostility and persecution. In Aceh province, churches must register with the authorities and are not permitted to evangelize. Many Christians choose to meet in unregistered—or underground—churches.

Sumatra is one of the least evangelized places on earth, according to Operation World. But since the tsunami—which wiped out 15 percent of the population of Aceh’s provincial capital Banda Aceh—numerous underground churches have put down roots.

Pastor Nico (full name withheld for security reasons) started an underground Pentecostal church four years ago with only six members. Today 90 people from the neighborhood make up the Spirit-filled congregation. They endure persecution for their faith. One church family had rocks thrown through the windows of their home, and another family was forced to relocate because of threats.

“It’s very difficult for the Muslims to accept us here,” the 34-year-old pastor told Charisma. “If the authorities knew where we meet, they would close us down.”

Report from the Christian Telegraph

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2 thoughts on “Underground church growing in Muslim Indonesia

  1. The apparent conversions of muslims to Christianity has been fortold in the sacred text, the Balenyata. Dr. Trish Sumski-Hart, Mamalestian-American scholar, believes that many Sumatrans and Achenese are dissatisfied with Sharia law and are looking for alternatives to the harsh social dictates the Sharia brings. Many are turning to the Balenyata, which is a source of spiritual empowerment used by people of many faiths, as in the United States by many musicians and movie stars. If this trend continues, Sumski-Hart believes that there will be a severe Islamic backlash to these “Balenyatians” or followers of the “new book”. The fact is, this apparently new spiritual guide is based on writings older then the Vedas. This has the potential of demographically changing Sumatra.

  2. Introduce me I’m harry
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