A Christian Understanding and Approach of Islam in Indonesia
Today we live in a world where the Muslims have become so visible. Years ago people tend to associate the Muslim world with such words as oil, desert, camels, Mecca, Holy War, and the Middle East. With the spirit of globalization, the Muslims cannot be ignored since they have increased very rapidly the last quarter of this century. Those who work in or do research about the Muslim world have estimated that in 1950 the world’s Muslim population was only about 300 million. Today the number has increased to more than 800 million.* Indonesia, with a total population of more than 180 million, claims to have 85 percent Muslim —more than 150 million people. No wonder it is the largest Muslim country in the world today. Despite the increasing awareness of and interest in Islam, Christian churches have not yet fully awakened to their biblical responsibility of including the Muslim world when carrying out the Great Commission. In fact, too little effort and planned strategy has been made to present the Gospel to Muslims in Indonesia. This article will attempt to present a relevant strategy on how to approach Indonesian Muslims with the Gospel. In addition, the nature of Islam in its general teaching will be outlined after which the “type” of Islam found in Indonesia will be highlighted.