Monday, July 15
Indonesia has the largest Muslim population of any country. It also includes more than 25 million Christians as well as many Hindus, Buddhists, Confucianists, and indigenous religions. The first principle of its Constitution is “The Great Unity of Deity.” All Indonesians are expected to believe that, whatever their religion or culture, they are all under one God.
For much of history, Indonesia’s religious communities lived in relative harmony. Decentralization of power, democratization, the removal of the military from government, and an economic crisis have led to many ethnic and religious conflicts around Indonesia. New freedoms have led to an upsurge in radical Islamicist activity and attacks on minority groups. The long history of religious peace seems threatened.
In response, Muslim and Christian scholars formed the Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies (ICRS-Yogya). PC(USA) mission co-worker Bernard Adeney-Risakotta was founding director. Charlotte Blackburn and anthropologist Farsijana Adeney-Risakotta, both mission co-workers, also teach at ICRS, which includes Gadjah Mada University, State Islamic University, and Duta Wacana Christian University. ICRS is the world’s only consortium of Muslim, Christian, and secular universities. The goal is partnership between religious leaders to address pressing social and political problems.
ICRS is possible because Indonesian Christian and Muslim leaders learned to respect and trust each other. One Muslim professor, after returning to his Muslim university, said that he came to our program thinking all non-Muslims were his enemies. Now, he says, “Christians are among my closest friends.”
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) People in Mission
Communion of Churches in Indonesia, Universitas Kristen Duta Wacana:
Dr. Bernard Adeney-Risakotta, professor of ethics, Dr. Farsijana Adeney-Risakotta, professor of social science, Charlotte Blackburn, English teacher and teacher trainer
Rev. Dr. Rebecca Young, instructor of systematic theology, Jakarta Theological Seminary/PDA
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Marc Lewis, PPC
Mary Lewis, PMA
Let us pray
Lord, please give wisdom and grace to Christian and Muslim leaders in Indonesia who are learning to live in peace and work together. Amen.