For detailed information on the Primary and Secondary Cultural Characteristics, go here.
- Stats for Indonesia
Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim country, but has a growing Christian minority.
Top 25 Stats
Total Population- 255.7 M (4th); 36.9 M (17th); Total Evangelicals- 13.0 M (8th); Total Gospel Visits- 35.7 M (2nd); Total Gospel Decisions- 2.3 M (2nd).
Fastest Growing Religion
Human Development Index
Indo-Malay (94.3%, includes Javanese, Sunda, Indonesian, Madura, Batak, Minangkabau peoples); Chinese (3.9%); Pacific Island People (0.6%); Other (1.2%, includes Arab, Indian, European, U.S. citizen, mixed race).
Based on natural gas, forest products, agriculture, textiles, and large mineral reserves. Service industry is the largest employer; Had steady economic progress since the 1980’s. Has religious instability, corruption, and the need for economic reform.
History / Politics
Large nation with 17,500 islands in 10 million sq. kms of ocean (more than U.S. minus Alaska). Diverse nation with 722 languages and 750 distinct people groups. Endured colonial rule by Portuguese, Dutch, British, and Japanese across 16th-20th centuries. Ruled by General Sukarno and then General Suharto until 1997. Now has transitioned to elected government and the world’s third largest democracy. Has a politically active military, and Islamist groups that could threaten peaceful progress. Religious tensions and mass relocation due to overpopulation could cause violence. Discrimination, injustice, human rights abuses, and violence have occurred. Islands of Indonesia Sumatra is the largest unevangelized island in the world; Most are strongly Muslim. Java has largest population of islands; The church continues to grow amid persecution. Jakarta, the national capital, is on Java, and is now 13% Christian; All ethnicities here. Bali, a popular tourist destination, is inhabited mostly by Hindus. Kalimantan has many indigenous groups, some of which have a Christian majority. Sulawesi has seen violence in the 1990’s and 2000’s between Muslims and Christians. Maluku witnessed violent uprisings by Muslims in 1999-2000 where 20,000 Christians died. West Papua (Irian Jaya) has more than 90% Christians, but needs more discipleship. Government sent Javanese Muslims to West Papua due to overcrowding. Christians on West Papua have suffered much injustice.
The church has grown significantly in the last 50 years. Natural disasters and dislocation of people lead to ministry opportunities for Christians. People are required to follow one of the official religions: Islam, Hinduism, Confucianism, Catholicism, or Protestantism. Some animists have chosen to follow Christ because of this government requirement. Strict Islamists are slowly gaining power; Government needs to stand against them. More training is needed for newer pastors for growing areas of the church. Indonesian church is working hard to determine a vision for evangelizing the nation.
Pray for continued growth of the church and religious tolerance for all. Pray for training and training materials for the pastors and workers in the nation. Pray for unity among the different Christian groups.