The prophecy of Ratu Adil says that a coming righteous king will bring prosperity and peace for the 100 million Javanese people in Indonesia. In many ways, the Ratu Adil figure is reminiscent of Jesus Christ.
Realizing this, Campus Crusade staff members in Indonesia devised an evangelistic advertising campaign around the legend, which is even taught in elementary schools.
"Who is Ratu Adil?" asks the ad, with a shadowy figure in the background. "Who is this just king, this deliverer?"
Appearing in 14 newspapers from Sumatra to Kalimantan, the ad promised respondents a free movie -- the JESUS film with a special Ratu Adil introduction. "People thought we were crazy for doing such a campaign," says Tegoeh Santoso, a Campus Crusade staff member.
The ads were a smash success -- close to 15,000 people responded and nearly 200 Bible studies were started.
More than 80 percent of Indonesians practice Islam, which prompts such creative means for presenting the gospel. "They have been indoctrinated that Christianity is wrong," says Tegoeh. "We have to change their minds. When they listen, they realize this message about Jesus is good. And that it's true."