Senior Correspondent, ASSIST News Service
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (ANS) -- A sophisticated media campaign was launched last summer to reverse the trend of Muslim conversions to Christianity in Indonesia.
Mercy Mission, a charity registered in London, launched their fundraising and social media campaign called "Save Maryam" in July with Arabic and English videos posted on YouTube and Facebook. They reported the video helped them raise $ 2.0 million in the first 48 hours and within a week they had over a million hits on their campaign website.
Dr Tawfique Chowdhury, founder of Mercy Mission and leader of the campaign, graduated from the college of Shariah from the Islamic University of Medinah. His background includes work with a multinational IT company and he is a practicing medical doctor in Australia.
"Early in 2004 our team began to receive reports of huge numbers of people leaving Islam in Indonesia," Mercy Mission's press release launching the campaign stated. "At that time we were informed of findings showing that within our lifetime the rate of growth of Christianization was heading for a massive societal as well as geopolitical shift in the region.
'It would resemble East Timor when a few decades ago, due to the high levels of Christianization - it had broken off from Indonesia. Due to a 70 times increase in the number of Christians in just 100 years, what was happening in Africa was also significant."