The teachings of fundamentalist Islam, similar to ISIS ideology, have crept into Indonesian public schools. A textbook for Islamic religious studies used in a senior high school in East Java province carries this troubling statement: “People who worship other than Allah (non-Muslims) should be killed.” This finding raised concerns among local media, which reported signs of ISIS’ deeper infiltration into the Indonesian educational system. Others suspect that these textbooks have been distributed in other provinces.
While fundamentalist teachings are common in Islamic boarding schools, this is the first time that they have been openly taught in government-run schools, where a large majority of Indonesian youth go to study. “These books can further propel the spread of extremism in the country,” said Sidney Jones, an expert on terrorism.
East Java is already one of the most hostile places in which 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 such literature can further justify violence in the name of Islam.
Please pray for this potentially harmful situation. Should radicalism take hold of the national education system, the impact would be widespread and devastating. Pray that the government would take a firm stand against radical Islam by banning the books.
Father, we do pray for Java province and the nation of Indonesia; that You will protect its people from the influence of radical Islam. We pray that the government will be bold in banning these books from the state-owned schools in Java and throughout the nation. We pray for the children attending these schools; that their minds will not bet turned to violence. And we pray for the Christians; that they will turn to You in prayer and trust, and that You will guard their hearts from fear and retaliation. We pray that the light of Christ will shine through their lives as they respond to these incidences in God-honoring ways, with godly wisdom and boldness in standing firmly and confidently in their faith. In the name of Jesus, our stronghold in times of fear, Amen.