Indonesia is made up of 250 million people spread across thousands of islands. While it is mostly Muslim, it is a very diverse country because of the spread of islands. For a long time, Indonesia was an example to the world of the peaceful cohabitation of Muslims with other minority religions. However, in 2006, Indonesia began requiring all religious institutions to acquire signatures from 90 Muslim families before formation, a nearly impossible task for most churches. Christians also face fierce discrimination if they are found out, and churches have been burned. 40 percent of Indonesians live near or below the poverty line, and if natural disaster strikes, most of Indonesia will be reduced to extreme poverty. Many already do not have sufficient access to food, water, shelter, or education.
In a blog post, Fr. Randy describes five of the difficulties facing the mission in Indonesia. He particularly describes the recent shift in views against Christianity. Over 8000 Christians have been forced to leave their homes and the government has used the lack of Muslim signatures for many churches in order to shut them down. He goes on to describe two church burnings. The general state of Indonesia is also unacceptable and unavoidable. The level of poverty is too high and many people are struggling to acquire basic necessities. While the missionaries are trying to help, the anti-Christian mentality has made it difficult to do so.