Muslims of Jakarta, Indonesia

Population: 8.5 million
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
Languages: Bahasa Indonesia and others

Mrs. Anna

Mrs. Anna's right foot had swollen to twice its normal size and oozed a greenish-white secretion. Like many of Jakarta's poor, she had no money to pay for a doctor. Then she heard of one who would treat her for free.

The doctor dressed the wound and gave her medication. "But," she added, "the medicine you really need is expensive – and we have none." They prayed.

Now Mrs. Anna tells her neighbours how Jesus healed her – and about the deep joy she felt when she was able to join a group of new friends who sang and prayed and worshiped in his name.

Jakarta: City of Contrasts

In the center of Jakarta stands Istiqlal, the largest mosque in Southeast Asia. With space for 100,000 worshipers, Istiqlal is the pride of Indonesia's Muslims. The grand scale of Istiqlal is mirrored in Jakarta's colossal shopping centres, its elevated six-lane toll road, and the glittering fountains, bank towers and festive light sculptures of the Sudirman business district.

Yet an estimated one million Jakartans live in poverty. Some people squat illegally on riverbanks, empty lots and floodplains, where they support themselves by day labour, scavenging or begging. On the northern shore, many make their living from the sea.

Jakarta's Muslims

A Muslim in Jakarta may be rich or poor, liberal or conservative, moderate or fundamentalist, quranically well educated or ignorant of Islam's basic tenets. He may be fervently devout or spiritually indifferent. While many followers of Jesus here have shown little concern for their Muslim neighbors, others are hearing God's call and reaching out in love.

Prayer Points

  • Pray for good governance. Corruption is rampant, inflation and unemployment are high and Indonesia's social balance remains fragile. A string of natural disasters has battered the country and strained the government's ability to respond. Pray for God-fearing leaders and effective government.

  • Pray that the love, grace and power of God be manifest in the lives of his people. Pray that the Lord's followers would exemplify his holiness and justice in workplaces, schools and communities throughout Jakarta.

  • Jakarta has small communities of Jesus-followers from Muslim backgrounds. Pray that the Spirit would bring dreams and visions, conviction of sin, faith and new life to many more.

  • Pray for transformation and abundant life for Jakarta's poor.

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Muslims of Jakarta, Indonesia

Learn more about Jakarta

(External links)

Urban Poverty and Inequality in Jakarta
Poor Sanitation in Jakarta's Slums