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Persecuted student in Indonesia faces backlash from Muslim family

May 8, 2024 by Chandler Peterson in Persecuted Christians in Indonesia

Christians constitute just 10% of the population in Indonesia, and converts are often met with harsh backlash and persecution. Muslims who convert to Christianity are falsely accused of being possessed by evil spirits, so they must be forcibly coerced to return Islam at any cost. Despite the stigma, violence and spiritual abuse he has had to endure, Caleb remains strong in his Christian faith.

Caleb, a persecuted Christian, finds peace in Christianity

Before his conversion, Caleb devoutly followed the Islamic faith of his family. One day, a classmate named Mita told him about Jesus. Caleb was initially skeptical. He encouraged her to convert to Islam instead. But Mita responded in the spirit of Ephesians 4, “speaking the truth in love.” She challenged his religious views and shared her own, explaining that her relationship with Christ had changed her life.

Intrigued, Caleb decided to visit a church. He immediately felt that something was different—and more peaceful—about this religion, compared to Islam. He started attending the church regularly, and as he learned more about Jesus, he began to believe.

“In 20 years of praying our rote Islamic prayers, I never felt peace. But now, I do,” Caleb remarked of his newfound Christian faith. We praise the Lord that he decided to officially join a church and undergo baptism.

A persecuted student in Indonesia faces backlash

After a relative learned of Caleb’s Christian faith, his family became enraged. At the urging of his devout Muslim father, an Islamic teacher attempted to perform exorcisms on Caleb, with the hope of converting him back to Islam. Periodically, many other Muslim teachers laid their hands on his head, praying for him and sprinkling water over him, yet Caleb resisted their conversion attempts.

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Unable to come to terms with the fact that these exorcisms did not work on his son, Caleb’s father resorted to severe physical abuse. The violent affliction only stopped when Caleb’s grandmother intervened.

Two years have passed since Caleb’s father last attempted to forcibly convert him back to Islam. Today, Caleb requests prayers for his future and his family. We invite our readers to say a prayer for this faithful follower of Christ now.

Heavenly Father, we lift up our brother in Christ, Caleb, to You. We praise You for putting his Christian classmate, Mita, in his path. Thank You for opening Caleb’s eyes to the truth of Jesus Christ through the bold witness of this friend. God, we ask You to draw Caleb near to You. Grow his faith and bless him with biblical knowledge, wisdom, and understanding—that he might be able to make other disciples in Indonesia.

Thank You for strengthening Caleb to remain true to Jesus, even when his family members and school teachers threatened and pressured him to return to Islam. We pray that, over time, You would soften the hearts of his family members to the gospel. May his whole family repent and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Amen.

*Please note: Caleb’s name has been changed for his safety and anonymity. The photo above is a representative image of a believer in Indonesia.

About the author
Chandler Peterson is a staff writer and editor for Global Christian Relief, where she shares stories of Christian persecution. Read the latest Christian persecution stories on our website and learn more at Special thanks to GCR Field Reporter, CJ Wu, who contributed to this story.

Like Caleb, former Muslims in Indonesia face threats, violence and discrimination because of their Christian faith. Become a Frontline Partner today and your monthly, recurring gift can provide persecuted Christians in Indonesia and beyond with emergency relief, safe shelter, trauma counseling, medicine, food kits, Bibles and more.

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