The question on this topic is “what is our respond as the Church of Christ if we face persecution by the radical Muslim? will we use our right to defence or avenge?”
Indonesia is the largest Muslim population in the world. Christians are minority in the country, but the number of Christians increase reach to 15 % of the population. To keep the peaceful condition, the churches choose to keep silent and not to raise up their protest voice for a long time. But thanks to God that in the midst of her silence, the churches grow up as planted in good soil, in the midst of opposition.
In the times of Soeharto regime there were 456 churches being close down, at the era of Megawati Soekarno Putri there were 92 churches and the largest number on the history is at the era of our president now, at 2010 the accumulation of the churches being closed or destroyed reached 2.442 churches1, which has connection with the radical Muslim influence. And last year a church which has been closed down held their weekly Sunday service in front of the President palace to launch their protest to the government.
Paul said in Philippians 1:12-14;3:7 that the progress of the gospel (the proclaimed Chist) is the priority what ever the circumstances (in suffering, opposition or peaceful condition). Christ is the central and the reason for all the condition we face including suffering. Our task is to proclaimed about Christ through our good deed in the midst of all the oppositions in the Christianity. As Peter stated “So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.” I Pet 4:19. I think as Christians what we can do is not to avange, but to stand firm, survive in perseverance, keep on doing good things, and do not stop to witness about Christ through our good deeds and acts in every situation.
I hope also by seeing from the perpective beyond the circumstances, seeing Christ in all the circumstances, we will not be frightened by the opposition or revenge to the terrorism. The example of Christ endured suffering on the way to the cross become our model to face opposition and suffering. When the opposition insults Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted himself to him who judges justly2. We also called not to repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but we will repay it with blessing3. God is in control of everything and He is the righteous Judge. Whatever the circumstances whether it is bad or good, frightened or danger or peace, we see the perspective of Christ who is beyond all the circumstances. This will give us courage and peace to face all the unpredictable things in our life, including what terroris will do in our country.
1Victor Silaen, “Sesat oleh Menteri Agama”, Tempo Newspaper, 11 April 2013
2I Pet 2:23
3I Peter 3:8-9