Jonah’s story holds a powerful message for the Christians and Muslims of Indonesia and around the world. The nation has long prided itself on its tolerance between faiths, and in many parts of Indonesia that still holds firm. However there have been a number of incidences of inter-religious violence in the last two decades, and an increase in more radical forms of Islam among some younger people.
Jonah’s church had been receiving training in how to cope with disasters from PGI, the largest network of churches in Indonesia.
Rev Henry Lokra of the PGI network, in Sulawesi, shared news of the remarkable rescue with Tearfund. ‘I want people to know that people of different faiths here in Indonesia are working together,’ he said. ‘We will continue to support each other and lift one another up in prayer.
Jonah says that the experience has changed his attitude to his Muslim neighbours forever.
‘It put me into a place where I was willing to learn how to connect with other people as brothers without judgment. Often our faith will not grow unless we experience things in our lives. In that moment of understanding when these things happened I gained something very precious. And I no longer have these suspicions against them at all.’
‘Now, we’re going to go there to bring aid and help. I promised them that in these coming few days I would come.’
- Pray for the many thousands whose lives, and livelihoods, have been devastated by the earthquake on Sulawesi that they can receive the help and strength they need to rebuild.
- Pray for good coordination between local and international organisations as they work together to rebuild communities.
- Pray for the PGI network as they continue to promote peacebuilding work, including between Christians and Muslims.
Photo: Lewis Inman/DEC