Beaten On The Way To Church

American Christians don’t attend worship because they are tired from traveling after watching their favorite college team play on Saturday.  They don’t attend worship because Sunday is the only day to sleep late.  They don’t attend worship because they have a sniffle and need to get well before going to work on Monday.  They don’t attend worship because (As a deacon and church treasurer in a former church told me), “I just don’t get anything out of it.”  For many, just about any excuse is enough to stay home instead of going to worship.

Let’s turn that around… for US.  Would we go to worship if/when it cost us to attend?  Would we go to worship with our family if we knew there was a very good chance we’d be physically attacked for doing so?  Would we go knowing that we’d be attacked simply for being a Christian?  That is exactly what is happening to believers in Indonesia.  Consider a few sections of an article I found HERE.

Indonesia’s president ordered police to hunt down and arrest assailants who stabbed a Christian worshipper in the stomach and beat a minister in the head with a wooden plank as they headed to prayers.  … Suspicion immediately fell on Islamic hard-liners who have repeatedly warned members of the Batak Christian Protestant Church against worshipping on a field housing their now-shuttered church.

In recent months, they have thrown shoes and water bottles at the church members, interrupted sermons with chants of “Infidels!” and “Leave Now!” and dumped piles of feces on the land.  Local police Chief Imam Sugianto said Asia Sihombing, a worshipper, was on his way to the field when assailants jumped off a motorcycle and stabbed him in the stomach.  Luspida Simanjuntak was smashed in the head as she tried to come to his aid.

Leading the charge against the Batak Christians has been the Islamic Defenders Front, which is pushing for the implementation of Islamic-based laws in Bekasi and other parts of the nation.  The Christian worshippers have refused to back down. Every week, about 20 or so return to the field to pray, defying threats and intimidation.

The Batak Christians need our prayers for strength.  The members of the Islamic Defenders Front need our prayers that God will deliver them from their unbelief so as to trust in Christ.  And then… American Christians need to consider whether or not our own faith could/would be strong in the face of such adversity.  American Christians need to consider if our own faith would result in what is written in Hebrews 10:34…

For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.

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One comment on “Beaten On The Way To Church

  1. Ryan says:

    I bet the people in Indonesia would not attend church here in the U.S. if they heard a steady diet of “be a better you”, “you can make it”, “six ways to improve your marriage.” Those kind of messages really address the needs of human’s don’t they? Due to recovery from surgery last week I watched several different churches on television last Sunday and I was appalled at what I witnessed. Not a single pastor opened his bible and directed his people to God’s Word. Again, it was appalling.

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