Persecution of Christians in Indonesia: there are around 2000 members of the Indonesia Orthodox Church, with 13 parishes in Java, Bali, Sumatra, Celebes, Timor and Papua. 87% of Indonesians are Muslim. Like Christians in all too many other countries, all the Christians of Indonesia live under precarious circumstances, as exemplified by the banning of Christmas celebrations explained in this article.

Please pray that the Lord would soften the hearts of these officials toward their Christian people, and move them to welcome and protect the Christians who live among them.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in Indonesia, see here.

“Christmas Celebrations in West Sumatra Banned,” International Christian Concern, December 19, 2019:

12/19/2019 Indonesia (International Christian Concern) – Christians from Sungai Tambang, Sijunjung Regency and Jorong Kampung Baru, Dharmasraya Regency in West Sumatra, are banned from holding worship services and Christmas celebrations in 2019.

According to Indonesiakini News, the local government argues that Christmas celebrations were banned in the two locations because they were not carried out in places of worship in general.

“They did not get permission from the local government since the Christmas celebration and worship were held at the house of one of the Christians who had been involved. The local government argued that the situation was not conducive,” said the director of PUSAKA (Center for Inter-Community Studies).

He added that the ban on Christians to celebrate Christmas and the New Year had been going on since 1985. “It has been going on for a long time, so far they have been quietly worshiping at the home of one of the worshipers, but they have applied for permission several times. Yet the permit to celebrate Christmas was never granted,” he said.

“The house where they performed worship services was once burned down in early 2000 due to resistance from residents,” Sudarto believes that the ban is an act that violates human rights, because in Indonesia every religious community is given the freedom to celebrate the holidays of their respective religions.

There are currently around 210 Christian family households in Sungai Tambang, some protestants some Catholics. They have been celebrating Christmas at a church in Sawahlunto which sits 120 kilometers away…