Indonesia Churches Explode with Growth

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JAKARTA, Indonesia - Persecution against Christian churches in Indonesia is still rampant especially in the province of Aceh.

Recently, local authorities ordered 20 churches demolished there.

Still, in other parts of the predominantly Muslim country, churches are seeing phenomenal growth.

Much of it comes from the Pentecostal churches. Pastors say more and more people, including Buddhists and Muslims, are starting to attend Christian services.

Pastor Billy Njotorahardjo has seen tremendous growth in his church. He said his congregation has increased from 400 to more than 6,000 members in just four years.

"We don't have the best program, we don't have the best methods. What attracts them is the presence of God," Njotorahardjo explained.

"We always pray, 'God open heaven for Jakarta, let Your Spirit touch the people, even those outside will get healed, will get saved,'" he said.

Eddy is a former Buddhist and his wife, Sophie, is a former Muslim. Both experienced the power of the Holy Spirit at Pastor Billy's church.

When he first came to the church, Eddy had pancreatic cancer that spread to his liver. He was given only six months to live.

"Everyday I [felt] so sad, I cry. I [told] my friend, 'Go to the Buddhist temple in Bangkok. We will meet the leader and ask him for help.' But they say no more hope. I must die," Eddy recalled.

"One day my Christian friend told me, 'try my Jesus,'" he continued.

"I start thinking nothing to lose if I try Jesus, so I call the church and tell them I want to be baptized," Eddy said. "I said to Jesus give me a chance and I will serve Him."

Today, after six years, Eddy is well and regularly attends a Christian church.

"Praise the Lord! I believe I am healed by my faith," Eddy told CBN News. "Jesus is everything to me. Jesus is my Healer, my Savior, my Master, everything."

Sophie first came to Pastor Billy's church with her parents-in-law. She said she felt at peace while there.

"When I went home in the evening I turned on the radio. I heard the Muslim prayer, and I prayed, 'God please lead me to the right way,'" Sophie said.

"I went to the Christian church more regularly until I enjoyed it and I decided to surrender my life to Jesus," she added.

Leaders say it's the prayers and unity of the churches that have led more people of other faiths to salvation.

"We prayed not just make churches full, but we pray for revival of Indonesia," Njotorahardjo said. "The whole nation to be changed and transformed by God."

*Originally aired July 13, 2012.

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Lucille Talusan

Lucille Talusan

CBN News Asia Correspondent

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