Sulawesi has over 110 people groups. Most coastal peoples are Muslim, and Christians are a majority in the northeast and the central highlands. Violent conflict between Muslims and Christians (1990s and 2000s) left over 1,000 people dead. Christians feel unfairly treated and harshly punished. Pray for a Christlike response. Bible translation is an enormous unfinished task. Pray for the less-reached Muslim Bugis, Makassar, and Gorontalo peoples. The Makassar are one of a few strongly Muslim groups to show some response to the gospel.
On Sulawesi, Less-reached peoples are many, but there are small Christian minorities in most of the larger groups. Pray specifically for:
- The Bugis (5m) and related Makassar (2.1m) of South Sulawesi, with colonies all around the coast. Trading is their major occupation. By Indonesian standards, Islam is more orthodox among them. There are a few thousand Christians among these groups, the Makassar being one of the few significant orthodox Muslim groups responding in any numbers to the gospel.
- The Muslim Gorontalo (more than 1m), a cluster of five Muslim-animist peoples scattered around the north, and the Bungku-Bajau cluster in the southeast. There are some small churches indigenous to these peoples, but response is slow and many areas remain untouched.
Bible translation is a challenge. The government has done much to encourage the use of the national language - a blessing for communication and evangelism. But 117 languages remain in active use in Maluku; only four have a NT, even though many of these peoples are "Christian". Translation teams are involved in 34 languages, and 64 more have definite translation needs. Pray for the continuation of translation work, which, along with other ministries, is disrupted by violence.
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Content taken or adapted from Operation World, 7th Edition (2010) and Pray for the World (2015). Both books are published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.