More than 400 Christian youths, including Catholics, attended the event to campaign about the “Dangers of Pornography and Drugs”, organized by the Indonesian Bethel Church in Tangerang, Banten, about 30 km west of Jakarta. This event is considered as the first event held by the church, which claims 2.5 million followers throughout Indonesia, in response to a government call to religious institutions to campaign against the use of drugs among young people.
As reported by ucanews.com, Rev. Michael Alen Ponelo, the Jakarta- born Bethel Church pastor, remarked that “Indonesia has become a big market for drugs and young people must be able to take care of their bodies because it’s a temple of God and I call on you, young Christians, not to allow yourselves into this dark reality.”
Rev. Michael Alen Ponelo was a self- confessed drug user and a pimp, but later became a preacher. The National Narcotic Agency reported in 2016 that 27.3 percent of 5.7 million drug users in Indonesia are young people, mostly school age teens.