In 2002, I had the opportunity to travel to the Netherlands to attend and speak at an International Social Welfare Conference. I was a member of the Salvation Army delegation representing countries around the world. One of my colleagues was a female Salvation Army officer from Indonesia, who also served as a pastor. She talked of the persecution they had experienced, including harassment and burning down her church building.
Years later, in 2011, I traveled to Indonesia to attend a Christian wedding. The bride’s family were wealthy Chinese Catholics, who often hold a higher social standing than native Indonesians. The wedding was extravagant; it was held at a glass chapel in a resort overlooking the South Pacific on the island of Bali, a popular honeymoon and tourist destination. Everywhere on the island were statues of Hindu gods, not seen in Jakarta, which is predominately Muslim. The contrasts were striking.