Teachings of fundamental Islam similar to Islamic State ideology have crept into Indonesian public schools. A textbook on the subject of the Islamic religion being used in a senior high school in an East Java province carries a statement that “people who worship other than Allah (non-Muslims) should be killed.”
This finding raised a critical concern among local media, which reported that this might be a sign of deeper infiltration of the Islamic State into the Indonesian education system. Some suspect that identical books have been distributed to other provinces.
While fundamentalist teachings are common in Islamic boarding schools, it is the first time they have reached government-run schools, where a majority of Indonesians attend.
“These books can further propel the spread of extremism in the country,” said Sidney Jones, an international expert on terrorism.
East Java is one of the most hostile places for Indonesian Christians to live. It has witnessed assaults of believers, such as the multiple stabbings of an evangelist while he was asleep. The presence of literature hostile to Christians could further justify violence in the name of religion. Pray that the government would take firm action by banning the books.
Indonesia is ranked No. 47 on the Open Doors 2015 World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians. Radical Islamic groups continue to act violently when it comes to minorities, especially Christians. The groups put Christians in certain parts of the country under enormous pressure. Muslim Background Believers are especially targeted. Last year more than 30 churches of various denominations were forced to close and/or were attacked. Approximately 87 percent of Indonesia is Muslim and over 8 percent Christian.
Compiled by Jerry Dykstra. For media inquiries, contact Christine Cape at 404-545-0085 or Katie Rouse at 678-410-9575.