The challenge: Winning the Bugis of Indonesia
The vast majority of the Bugis in Indonesia (over 3.5 million) live on the south-western peninsula of Sulawesi Island. For the Bugis people, Islam is part of their ethnic, as well as, their religious identity. They have a reputation of being fanatical Muslims with a history of violent persecution of the Christian minorities. In addition to following Islam, many Bugis people are involved in animistic spiritual practices such as seeking power from spirits of the dead, seeking help from dukuns (shamans), and using amulets and charms. Due to their links to dark spiritual forces, the Bugis people present a great challenge for those who seek to reach them with the love and truth of the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah (Isa Al-Masih).
There have been very few Gospel workers among the Bugis people. The few who have been working among the Bugis often invest years of time to win a single convert, or perhaps just a handful. If just 500 to 1,000 Bugis were won to the Lord this year, it would be an incredible miracle.
“Pramana,” a pseudonym, is a local believer in the Messiah from a predominantly Christian people group. He grew up in Makassar (provincial capital of South Sulawesi) and studied at university. Through his involvement in a group of believers at university, he understood the need to reach out to the Muslims around him. After graduation he enrolled at Bible school and eventually joined a group reaching out to Muslims. He took a local job to provide for his family of four. Workers such as “Wally” from other ethnic groups often face prejudice from the Bugis. Pray that God will cause Bugis Muslims to listen to these “outsiders”.
* Pray that the barriers of Islam and occult practices among the Bugis will be overcome by the Holy Spirit.
* Pray that the Good News will spread powerfully and that Jesus will be honoured among the Bugis people.
* Pray for more Indonesian workers who demonstrate great sacrificial faith to build God’s kingdom. May financial matters not become a distraction to their ministries.
- 17,508 islands
- Population: 234,694,000
- Largest Muslim population of any country around the world: 86.1% Muslim
- Ethnic Groups: Javanese 40.6%, Sundanese 15%, Madurese 3.3%, Minangkabau 2.7%, Betawi 2.4%, Bugis 2.4%, Banten 2%, Banjar 1.7%, other 29.9%
- Primary language: Indonesian Bahasa