This Child Must Die

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“If this child lives, your kingdom will be overthrown,” prophesied the spirit-priest to Cloepas Lumbantobing’s father. “The very foundations of Batak tradition will be destroyed. He will lead our people astray into a strange new teaching.”

The spirits were right to tremble. Together with his fellow evangelists, both Bataks and western missionaries, Cleopas challenged Satan’s kingdom and formed a bridgehead for Christ in the Batak Highlands of North Sumatra, Indonesia. His special gift was to make peace. Still today we can all learn from his example of courage and commitment.

This unusual book reveals the crucial role played by national partners alongside foreign missionaries, pioneering in the tough situations, sensitively mending endangered relationships, preserving culture without syncretism.