The newly elected Governor Lukas Enembe of Indonesia’s easternmost province, Papua, has invited Peter Youngren to conduct a gospel festival in the football stadium in the capital, Jayapura.
“That something like this would happen in the world’s largest Muslim nation is of course of greatest significance,” says Pastor Hendrik Yongky Sarioa, superintendent of the Assemblies of God. “The governor, who is a Christian, has invited Peter Youngren to celebrate his first 100 days in office, but also in order to reach out with the gospel to the non-Christians.”
Youngren conducted a gospel festival in Jayapura in late 2001, when the city was ravaged by riots that followed in the wake of the assassination of Papuan independence leader Theys Eluay. With the capital in a virtual lockdown, the governor and police at that time had wanted to close down the gospel outreach for security reason. Youngren asked for permission to conduct one meeting only, and when the then-governor saw the peace and tranquility that followed, the meeting continued for the whole week.
“What we are seeing now is the long-term fruit of the preaching of the gospel. What God did among Muslims and Christians alike 12 years ago has left a lasting impression on the entire community,” Youngren said just prior to leaving for Indonesia.
Traditionally, Papua, Indonesia, has had a mixture of Christianity and animism. The past 20 years has seen a large Muslim immigration from the rest of Indonesia, and today the population is almost evenly divided, especially in larger populated areas. Youngren’s gospel campaigns have a track record of attracting large numbers of Muslims, where it is common for Muslims to report that they have received Jesus as Healer and Savior.
The governor will preside over each night in the stadium with all the local churches cooperating. There are no restrictions on how to advertise the event, and banners and billboards in Jayapura are welcoming people of all religions to receive healing and help from Jesus.