News / Thoughts

Updates, ideas, reflections and articles from Open Doors and our friends 
News / Thoughts

Indonesia: Being a blessing during Ramadan

May 18, 2020

“The local Muslims would come to my house and force us to fast and pray, since we don’t show up at the mosque anymore. It gets worse during Ramadan.”

Believers from Muslim backgrounds, like Samir and his wife, often feel the greatest pressure from their Muslim community to return to Islam during Ramadan. However, there are Christians in Indonesia who consider it the perfect time to share the gospel with Muslims.

‘They threatened to kick us out of our village.’

Samir had already attended persecution preparedness training run by Open Doors partners, so he was able to respond to his persecutors with love and not anger, telling them not to bother him and his family as they were now Christians.

But his neighbours didn’t listen. More people came to his house to pressure him and his wife. “They forced us to denounce Isa (the Arabic name for Jesus) and return to Islam. If not, they threatened us with several things. They said, if we die, no villagers will take care of our corpse, or if we get sick, no one will visit or help us. They even threatened to kick us out of our house and this village.”

However, Samir stood firm and replied to them, saying, “This is my house. You have no right to expel us from our own house.” He knew his rights as he had also received a handbook from Open Doors partners that explained Christians’ legal and religious rights, according to the laws of Indonesia.

‘We want to be a blessing during Ramadan’

Samir is part of a wider group of believers from Muslim backgrounds that meet together every week. They support and reminded each other that as followers of Jesus, they must always share God’s love with others, even when they face increased pressure and persecution during Ramadan.

This group tries to find ways to be a blessing to their community during Ramadan, like cooking food for their Muslim neighbours. Sometimes, other opportunities present themselves.

Image: A discipleship group chats over dinner

Lina* one of the group explains, “Last year, we experienced a lack of clean water. At the same time, we were receiving clean water from a believer. The Muslims came to us for help, so we shared our water with them. We also got second-hand clothes that are still wearable, and we gave some to those who were in need. By doing so, we want to be a blessing to them during Ramadan. And we find that generally the community welcomes our support.”

She continues, “Ramadan is actually the perfect time to preach the gospel. It is easy to engage Muslims during this time and tell them about God’s salvation.”

Your prayers and support are enabling Open Doors to provide training and encouragement to believers who face pressure and persecution in Indonesia – thank you!

Pray now…

  • That believers in Indonesia will be a blessing to their Muslim neighbours, even with increased pressure to return to Islam during Ramadan
  • That Christians will be bold in sharing Jesus with Muslims
  • That God will open more doors for these believers to help Muslims with any needs they have during Ramadan.

Grow with God during the lockdown: Isolated Church…

To help you through this time of enforced social distancing and isolation, we’re releasing a series of new content every week. Were going to be looking at how the persecuted church can inspire us during this time of lockdown. Sign up for our weekly emails to get fresh videos, stories, reflections, prayers and actions – all of which you can do from home!

We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.