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

    279,476,346 (2023 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.

Indonesia News

  • 2023 Year in Review
    A group of believers is worshipping together.
    Believers worship faithfully amidst much opposition.
    Photo: VOMC

    Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world. While freedom of religion is guaranteed in the constitution, Muslims generally receive preferential treatment from the government. In order to establish and operate places of worship, permits are officially required; yet, in practise, only non-Muslims must comply. These permits are very difficult for churches to obtain. To be granted an official permit, each congregation must be comprised of a minimum of 90 members and needs authorization from at least 60 non-Christian residents in the area.

  • Mob Attack Forces Church to Host Services Online
    A woman is standing with her hands lifted and eyes closed. She is with a congregation.
    A worship gathering in Indonesia.
    Photo: VOMC

    In the early morning of September 16th, a mob consisting of approximately 50 people had gathered at the front gate of the Maranatha Chapel in Depok City. Mob members angrily banged on the gate while shouting and causing a disturbance. Thankfully, at the time, no service was taking place inside the church building and the crowd eventually dispersed.