Protestant pastors at the World Prayer Assembly 2012 in Jakarta (Photo by Ryan Dagur)
Thousands of Christians from across the globe were in Jakarta yesterday to pray for peace, Indonesia and a better world free of crises and social ills. The service at the Bung Karno Stadium was one of the highlights of World Prayer Assembly 2012, a five-day gathering of Christian leaders that aims to transform the world through prayer. The event, which also includes a series of workshops on Christian leadership, was organized and co-hosted by leaders of Indonesian and Korean prayer movements with the support of international prayer networks such as the International Prayer Council and the Global Day of Prayer. The last World Prayer Assembly was held in 1984. Reverend Bambang Widjaya, an organizer and secretary of the Communion of Churches in Indonesia
Advisory Desk, said one of the goals of the May 14-18 event was “to ask for God’s blessings so that Indonesia will experience economic prosperity, spiritual and moral renewal and be rid of natural disasters.” The service yesterday sought to bring about welfare, justice, joy and peace in the world, he added. “Let us make our world free from crime and other bad things,” he said. According to Reverend Yonggi Cho from Korea, Christians are called to be God’s arms. “The world needs us to, again, serve as God’s children to return the dignity of all people who continue to suffer,” he said. Yohanes Sutanto, a participant, said he hoped the service will help free Indonesia from corruption and poverty. “Another serious issue [which should be dealt with] is intolerance among religious communities,” he said. However, prayers alone will not work, he warned. “Concrete action must not be forgotten. Christians should help deal with problems,” he added.