Indonesia - Believers worshipping together - Photo: VOMC


Indonesia has a stable and robust democracy. It has the largest Muslim population in the world and the fourth-largest population overall. By law, Indonesians may choose to follow any of five religions, including Christianity. In practice, however, Muslims receive preferential treatment. Islamic radicalism has increased in Indonesia, leading to sectarian violence and terrorism.

Christian groups in Indonesia have reported a surge in church attendance in recent years, a source of contention in the predominantly Sunni Muslim country. Recently, local governments have closed evangelical churches and imposed restrictions on church expansion. In addition, extremists have forcibly closed churches, sometimes with the tacit approval of local officials and police. Under a Joint Ministerial Decree issued in 1969 and revised in 2006, all religious groups in Indonesia must apply for permits to establish and operate places of worship; in practice, only non-Muslims must comply. Part of this law stipulates that a majority of neighbors in the area must agree to a church's existence. Permission is sometimes denied, and some previously approved churches have been closed after complaints from Muslims.

Country Information


275,122,131 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Javanese (40.1), Sundanese (15.5), Malay (3.7), Balak (3.6), Madurese (3), Betawi (2.9), Minangkabau (2.7), Buginese (2.7), Bantenese (2), Other (23.8)

Religion (%)
Muslim (87.2), Christian (9.9), Hindu (1.7), Other (0.9), Unspecified (0.4)

President Joko Widodo (2014)

Government type
Presidential republic

Legal system
Civil law system based on the Roman-Dutch model and influenced by customary law

Sources: CIA World Factbook.

Pray for Indonesia

Pray for the continued growth of the church in Indonesia, despite the intense opposition and persecution that has taken place. May the destructive plans of the enemy to eradicate Christianity be frustrated and nullified.

Pray that whatever is intended for evil, God will turn around for good -- causing such hatred and violence to not only discredit extremism, but to also compel many to seek salvation in Christ... including the perpetrators of persecution.


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Indonesia News

  • Church Building Sealed
    Protestant church
    A church in Indonesia
    Photo: DayakSibiriak (cc)

    The process of establishing and leading a church in Indonesia can be onerous, particularly in areas controlled by militant Islamic groups or where there are few Christians. In an attempt to establish "religious harmony," legislation was passed during

  • Official Stops Church Service
    A man studying the Bible and taking notes.
    An evangelist in Indonesia.
    Photo: VOMC

    A local village official in Indonesia stopped a church service on February 19th, demanding that the church discontinue meeting. This is only one example of the many challenges recently experienced by Christians in Indonesia. For previous reports, and to learn