Bangka of Indonesia The Bangka live on the island of Bangka in the South China Sea, off the east coast of Sumatra. Inhabitants of the island are composed of two groups: those descended from the Malay and those descended from the Chinese. Both of these groups call themselves Bangka; nevertheless, differences exist between the groups including physical traits, economic status, and place of residence. Many Bangka residents choose to move to other areas for work, particularly Jakarta and Palembang. Pillars of the local economy are the rubber and palm oil plantations. The Bangka Malay are Muslims, however they are not particularly orthodox in their beliefs. Mosques are not heavily visited during the sunset ritual prayers. However, during the more important Friday prayers the mosques tend to be full. There are not many Muslim educational institutions like Quranic reading centers, Islamic religious schools, or mosque youth group activities.
Ministry Obstacles Spiritual opposition can be expected whenever Jesus is presented to a people, especially to a Muslim people.
Outreach Ideas There is a wealth of resources available in the Malay language. Pray for workers to share these with the Bangka people.
Pray for the followers of Christ Please pray for those within the Bangka tribe who identify themselves as Christians. Pray they will understand the distinction that must be made between cultural identification with the Christian religion and a life-changing commitment to the person of Christ.
Pray for the entire people group The tin mining industry has decreased because little recoverable tin is left to mine. It is very difficult to find alternative livelihoods due to the people's lack of skills. Because of this, the greatest need at this time is to develop the skills of the Bangka community. Please pray for this important need.
Scripture Focus "I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth." Isaiah 49:6