Fr Daniel Byantoro is a convert to Orthodox Christianity from Islam, and founder of the Indonesian Orthodox Mission. In his endorsement for my book, Facing Islam, he provides a short history of how Indonesia became an Islamic country. Myanmar's Buddhist monks are certainly keenly aware of the fate of Indonesia:
For thousands of years my country (Indonesia) was a Hindu Buddhist kingdom. The last Hindu king was kind enough to give a tax exempt property for the first Muslim missionary to live and to preach his religion.
Slowly the followers of the new religion were growing, and after they became so strong the kingdom was attacked, those who refused to become Muslims had to flee for their life to the neighboring island of Bali or to a high mountain of Tengger, where they have been able to keep their religion until now.
Slowly from the Hindu Buddhist Kingdom, Indonesia became the largest Islamic country in the world.
If there is any lesson to be learnt by Americans at all, the history of my country is worth pondering upon. We are not hate mongering, bigoted people; rather, we are freedom loving, democracy loving and human loving people. We just don’t want this freedom and democracy to be taken away from us by our ignorance and misguided ‘political correctness’, and the pretension of tolerance.
—Archimandrite Daniel Byantoro, Orthodox Christian Convert from Islam, and founder of the Indonesian Orthodox Mission.