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Please Pray for Besieged Christians in Indonesia

Our JFA Bible Worker Ani* and her husband have been risking their lives to bring food to a group of believers who are under siege and worship with them. Much prayer is needed for them and the besieged Christians.

The following story was written by Ramon Tengkano. Ramon, with his family and a small team of missionaries, runs a satellite television ministry in Indonesia. They use lifestyle topics like health and family to share Jesus practically in a society that is not always friendly to the Gospel. 

The Mahubesi* family has lived on a particular island in Indonesia for generations. They have always tilled the lands during the rainy season and fished in the ocean during the dry. Most of the estimated 70 families in the village are related and have been Christians for decades. 

From the late 1990s until today, religious conflicts with nearby Muslims have disrupted their otherwise peaceful island life.

Ani, the Bible Worker, is one of the descendants of the Mahubesi family who witnessed the war between Christians and Muslims. She and her parents were there when a terrible war took place 25 years ago, but they escaped unharmed and lived outside the island after the conflict. She was 14 at the time. 

Ani remembers when armed men attacked her village and burned it down. Those with strength fought back but were outnumbered. Many fled to the jungles, while the rest were stranded, captured, and killed. Ani saw the assailants strike her grandmother with a wooden stick before they split open her skull with a machete. They placed her own cooked rice over her head on the floor as if mocking her right when Ani and her parents were running away. 

That generation has passed away, and the village was rebuilt. Some of the Christians returned home because neighboring villages and the local authorities promised security. But peace was never fully restored, and the Christian minority is losing the ongoing battle. 

In 2022, another large-scale conflict took place, and the Christians again lost their homes and lands. Now, some live in the ruins, and others live in tents outside the village. Local authorities ration and deliver their food. They are surrounded and controlled by armed men who claim ownership of the village, and Christians cannot leave their dwellings lest they get shot and killed. 

Today, access to the village is blocked, and visitors are not allowed in. Although Ani's parents have died, she and her husband, who live an hour away, risk their lives to deliver food and have quiet worship with remaining relatives inside the besieged village when possible. To be granted access, they get on a motorcycle wearing masks, Ani wears a hijab, and they act as though they are passing through the village to get to the next. They can also get to the village by walking through the jungles, but it takes a day, or by rented fishing boat.

The villagers have lost contact with the outside world, and very little information can be accessed regarding the situation in that part of the island. Not much has changed despite the central government's effort to mediate and despite Muslims' and Christians' pleas to stop the violence. Some of the locals claim the conflicts have been designed to create fear and to send a message of chaos in government. One person remembers seeing an Army helicopter dropping weapons and troops to kill civilians as if ordered by authorities. Many in the community were provoked and followed along to continue the conflict. Suggestions have been made that the Christians relocate, but they refuse. Some say they cannot burden others, and others simply refuse to give up their village to the Muslims. They are only hoping that situations will get better. Please pray for these besieged Christians, our Bible Worker's family, and our television mission over Indonesia that many more people like Ani and her husband will hear the truth and be converted to the reality of eternal life. 

Our Bible Workers, like Ani, are grateful for the prayers and support that help them share Jesus with others. If God is leading you to invest in the ministries of Bible Workers in Indonesia, please click the button below: 

If God is leading you to invest in the ministries of Bible Workers throughout Asia, please click the button below:

If you are interested in learning about or giving to support the Indonesia satellite ministry, please click the button below. 

-Contributed by Jesus for Asia


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