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Correction: Indonesia is 87% Muslim. And Fica is an exception.

Did you see that comment on social media that Indonesia is not 99% Muslim?
“Yeah. I looked it up. From what I read it's actually 87%.”

But you're not one of them, right?
“No, I'm a Seventh-Day Adventist. I usually tell people I am a Christian and if they're interested I'll tell them more.”

I am interested.
“The Seventh-Day part of it refers to the fact that we worship on the 7th day of the week, which is Saturday. Our holy day or Sabbath, as we call it, begins at sunset Friday evening and ends Saturday evening after sunset, and every Saturday we’re required to go to church. We don't do that now, but under normal circumstances we would.
I know that other Christian denominations do baptism at a very early age, like very young children, even babies. Seventh-Day Adventists don't do that. We consider baptism a very, very big thing. There's not an age limit, but you have to have studied with the pastor and had extensive classes on what you're kind of getting yourself into, not in the sense that it's a contract, but you have to understand that God is your personal saviour. It's recommended that it happens as a late teenager so you can understand more of how important the promises that you're making are because we see baptism as renewed life. I think I was 15 or 14, but I know some friends who have been baptised at 10.
Another thing that makes us different is the dietary restrictions. As an Adventist, there’s a lot of things that I don't eat. We don't eat pork, and there are specific requirements to sea food: It has to have scales, fins, and a tail. So we don’t eat things like catfish and shrimp.”

Sounds kosher?
“Yes, it's from the Old Testament. We have both the Old Testament and the New Testament.”

Is there anything else you are supposed to do or not do?
“No smoking, no drinking, technically no coffee, but I know a lot of my cousins ignore that rule. Anything that can lead to addiction we’re supposed to stay away from. Premarital sex is a big no go. Looking at it, I guess it's sensible. Aside from the dietary restrictions, I don't think any of the rules I've grown up with have been completely insensible in some way or form. Thinking about it now, it hits me that what I grew up knowing is not some common world concept.”

Thank you so much for sharing, Fica.
“You’re welcome.”

Did you miss our first interview with Fica about her home country, Indonesia? Check out our other interviews with students from Argentina, Colombia, Hungary, India, Kenya, Lithuania, Turkey, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.