Thursday, July 28, 2005

Christianity and Indonesia

Strategy Page has an update on terrorism in Indonesia (ht Instapundit):
July 28, 2005: The government continues to investigate, arrest and prosecute Islamic terrorists. But religious conflicts continue as well. More moderate Moslem leaders, while helping the government by preaching against the Islamic radicals, also want government help to stem the growth of Christianity. Missionaries, both Indonesian and foreign, have been successful in converting an increasing number of Moslem Indonesians. The Islamic clergy want the government to intervene. By law, only five religions are allowed in Indonesia, and the government has a tradition of getting involved in religious affairs. While 85 percent of Indonesians are Moslem, most of the remainder are Christian. On some islands, the population is half, or more, Christian. On those islands, many Moslems see Christianity as a more "modern" religion. Christian clergy and missionaries are generally better educated than their Moslem counterparts, and the Christians tend to be more successful economically as well.

Christianity, which predates Islam, is the more "modern" religion. Perhaps because Christian factions don't war on each other anymore. (No, Ireland does not count. I doubt IRA thugs are particularly religious) Perhaps even more to the point, Christian missionaries built infrastructure, medical and educational facilities wherever they go. A top priority to many missionaries is a Bible college. More than just scripture, these colleges teach all the skills needed to effectively pastor a congregation. With the many projects a pastor of a growing church needs to oversee there are times he or she is much like a CEO. Many churches, especially in third world countries, are growing faster than there are trained personel to shephard them.

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