When his newfound faith in Jesus was discovered, 17 year old Ruli* was put into Islamic boarding school by force in Riau, a province of Indonesia, the largest Muslim nation in the world. Though Indonesia’s constitution officially grants freedom of religion, Christian converts from Islam face heavy pressured to renounce their faith.
Ruli was in Junior High School when he first dreamed of Jesus. In the dream, he saw a light in a forest. When Ruli approached the light, he saw a man in a radiant white robe and was overwhelmed with peace. After his dream, he searched tirelessly for the answer. “Having done his research, Ruli was finally convinced that the man is Jesus, “said Marlon*, a mission worker and Ruli’s spiritual mentor.
After a period of studying the Word with Marlon and other missionaries, Ruli made the decision to be baptized, but refused to return to his uncle’s home, for fear that he would be forced to perform the shalat (Islamic prayer ritual). Marlon encouraged him to obey his uncle, but reminded Ruli to pray to Jesus. The young believer could not keep up the pretense, however, and eventually his uncle, with whom he lived, caught him reading the Bible and literature on Christianity.
On Friday, January 22nd, Ruli called Marlon’s cellphone from the boarding school, saying that the school ustad (Islamic cleric) was going to try to purify him by exorcism. He expressed his terror that he would no longer have Jesus inside.
Father, thank You that Ruli now has the power of the Holy Spirit living in him and that “neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate [him] from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:38-39). Bring to his mind Scripture he has been taught. Protect him, Father, and fill him with the strength, peace and confidence of Christ in him that only You can give. Give him patience to persevere until he turns 18 and can decide his own faith according to Indonesian Law. Pray for Marlon and other mission workers whose work may be jeopardize after baptizing a minor. Give them wisdom and discernment as they continue their work with other Muslims who turn to Christ as well. In the Name of Jesus, who has conquered sin and death and who is enthroned on high, Amen.