Tuesday, December 18   Sign in or Register
Evangelical Focus
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud

Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.

Do the media in your country usually portray evangelical Christians accurately?




Christian governor ‘Ahok’ loses Jakarta election: “God knows”

The campaign was marked by violent demonstrations led by radical Muslims and a trial for alleged blasphemy. “Trust me, power comes from God and it too can be taken by God. Don’t be sad”, he told supporters.

AUTHOR Evangelical Focus JAKARTA 19 APRIL 2017 17:56 h GMT+1
Purnama Ahok addresses the media after conceding defeat in the Jakarta election, April 19. / Reuters

Muslim candidate Anies Baswedan won the governmental election in Jakarta (capital city of Indonesia) on April 19.

rough and tense campaign had led to a blasphemy trial against the Christian candidate and Governor Basuki ‘Ahok’ Tjahaja Purnama.

With 100% of the votes counted, Baswedan got 58% of the votes, and Purnama, 42%.

Winner Anies Baswedan is a respected academic and a former university rector, according to the BBC. He is known to be a moderate Muslim, his team insists he remains a pluralist.


Jakarta gubernatorial candidate Anies Baswedan and Sandiaga Uno celebrate the victory. / Jakarta Post



After weeks of becoming the centre of attacks, ‘Ahok’ conceded defeat on election day. He had won the first round but failed to reach 50% of the votes. 

In a press conference after the second round results were clear, he said: “Trust me, power comes from God and it too can be taken by God. No one comes to power without God’s permission. Don’t be sad. God knows.”


Final result of the Jakarta election. / The Jakarta Post

The Home Affairs of Indonesia feared clashes on election day, but informed that “the situation [in Jakarta] has been relatively stable (…) The voting process ran peacefully, as we hoped”, a government spokesman said, according to The Jakarta Post.



But the last months were far from being peaceful. Indonesia lost its image of religious tolerance after thousands protested against ‘Ahok’ and his Christian faith with slogans like: “Kill Ahok for insulting Islam.”

Muslim clerics referred to the Christian politician as a “son of Satan”.

‘Ahok’ is under trial for blasphemy charges over a viral video showing a speech he gave in September 2016. During the speech, ‘Ahok’ referenced a Quranic verse, Al-Maidah 51, and told attendees they shouldn't fall for claims by religious leaders who use the verse to justify why Muslims should not be led by non-Muslims.


Radical anti-Ahok protestors in Jakarta, during the campaign. / EPA

In the hearing, the Governor said he would never intentionally insult the Quran or hurt Muslims and spoke of his deep affection for his Muslim godparents, according to Morning Star News. He recalled how he helped poor Indonesians to perform the Hajj pilgrimage when he was a district chief a decade ago.

If convicted, Purnama faces a maximum five-year jail sentence. The trial was due to resume the day afer the election.



‘Ahok’ is a Christian, and Indonesian of Chinese descent in the country in the world with the biggest Muslim population. Ethnic Chinese make up about 1% of Indonesia's population of 250 million people.

Analysts highlighted the fight against corruption of the Governor, and the strong opposition he faced from Muslim hardliners.

A Christian in Indonesia said Purnama is a strong Christian: “He believes in Jesus Christ, reads and studies his Bible every day and finds it to be his source of strength.”

“His enemies have tried anything from death threats, put him on trial of all kinds of accusations and even openly cast black magic spells on him”, the source added.



Believers in Indonesia fear the escalation of intolerance against Christians.

Indonesian authorities in Bogor, West Java, have banned three churches from holding religious activities. Other churches were attacked.




    If you want to comment, or


YOUR ARE AT: - - Christian governor ‘Ahok’ loses Jakarta election: “God knows”
Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA

“Prostitution is nobody’s dream,  it’s a very traumatic lifestyle”, says Kathy Bryan, director of the Elevate Academy. She mentors former victims.

Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities

Christians rallied in Sofia on November 18 to defend their rights. It is the second Sunday of peaceful demonstrations against a new religion draft law that could severely restrict religious freedom and rights of minority faith confessions.

Photos: #WalkForFreedom Photos: #WalkForFreedom

Abolitionists marched through 400 cities in 51 countries. Pictures from Valencia (Spain), October 20.

Photos: Reaching people with disabilities Photos: Reaching people with disabilities

Seminars, an arts exhibition, discussion and testimonies. The European Disability Network met in Tallinn.

Photos: Hope for Europe Photos: Hope for Europe

Unity in Diversity is the theme of the conference. Representatives of Evangelical Alliances and many other church leaders gathered in Tallinn (Estonia).

Bulgarian evangelicals ask politicians to defend “basic freedoms” Bulgarian evangelicals ask politicians to defend “basic freedoms”

Protests and prayers continue in Bulgaria for the sixth week.

What are the benefits of the whole family being on mission? What are the benefits of the whole family being on mission?

“We’re not taking energy from my ministry when we care for our family in missional kind of ways”, says President of Josiah Venture Dave Patty.

“We need prayers for Bulgaria” “We need prayers for Bulgaria”

An interview with Pastor Vlady Raichinov, Vice President of the Bulgarian Evangelical Alliance.

‘Mediterráneo’ ‘Mediterráneo’

“Something will change if you have hunger and thirst for justice”, sings Spanish artist Eva Betoret in a song about the refugee crisis.

Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube

EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.