Indonesia has an area of 2 million sq. km and its maritime area is 7.9 million sq. km. Indonesia has more than 17,000 islands, with only 6,000 inhabited. The capital is Jakarta and the total population of Indonesia is about 224 million people. This makes Indonesia the fourth-most populous nation in the world.
Islam formed the largest religious group (87%) while Protestant Christianity is at 6%, Roman Catholicism 3%, Hinduism 2%, and Buddhism 1%. Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population and is a member of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).
The Indonesian Constitution embodies five principles of the state philosophy, called “PANCASILA”, namely monotheism, humanitarianism, national unity, representative democracy by consensus, and social justice. The 1945 Constitution notes: “The government guarantees the freedom of every Indonesian inhabitant to adhere to his/her own religion and to worship and practice according to his/her religion and faith” (Chapter 29 Verse 2).
HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN INDONESIA
Before the coming of Islam and Christianity, the islands of Java and Sumatra had already been occupied by 2 major empires: firstly the Buddhist kingdom of Srivijaya and then later the Hindu kingdom of Majapahit. Islam came to Indonesia during the 12th century and by the end of the 16th century, it became the dominant religion in Java and Sumatra spreading also to other islands in Indonesia. Protestant Christianity came to Indonesia chiefly through the Dutch in the 17th century. The Dutch established themselves as rulers of Indonesia with the only exception of East Timor which remained under Portugal until 1975. The Dutch ruled Indonesia for 300 years before the independence of Indonesia. The Dutch Reformed Church is the dominant Protestant Church.
THE EARLY ANGLICAN WORK
The British invaded Java in 1811 and Thomas Raffles of British East India Company became the Lt Governor of Java. In 1816, the British handed over the island of Java to the Dutch and All Saints Church (Anglican) was established in Jakarta in 1819. It is the oldest English-speaking church in Indonesia and at one time was used as a base for the London Missionary Society’s mission to China. Later, it became a colonial chaplaincy and an international church in the last fifty years. All Saints Church is under the Episcopal care of the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Singapore.
THE DEANERY OF INDONESIA
In 1993, Bishop Moses Tay established the Deanery of Indonesia with the objective to lay the ground work for the future “Diocese of Indonesia”. The Revd Canon Dr James Wong was the first Dean with the Revd George Tay succeeding him as the second Dean. The Anglican work is formally registered with the Department of Religion under the name of Gereja Anglikan Indonesia (Anglican Church of Indonesia). The thrust of the church planting effort was to reach out to the indigenous people in this nation.
The establishment of the Diocese of Indonesia
1. To engage in church planting in the Provincial capitals and key cities in the Provinces.
2. To nurture biblically-minded, disciple-making, Christ-centred, and Spirit-filled Anglicans.
3. To establish Anglican schools to complement our church-planting endeavours
THE PROGRESS OF GAI SINCE 1993
Since 1993, GAI has established 30 churches in 10 Provinces: North Sumatra, Riau Islands, Banten, Special Capital Region of Jakarta, West Java, East Java, West Kalimantan, North Kalimantan, Maluku, and West Nusantara. There are 2 Foundations: GERHATI (Micro-financing) and Yayasan Pelita Anglikan Indonesia (Education). They operate 1 full school and 3 kindergartens.
HOW YOU CAN HELP US
1. SHORT TERM MISSIONS
1.1 Discipleship Training
1.2 Children’s Ministry
1.3 Youth Ministry
1.4 Medical Missions
2. LONG TERM MISSIONS
2.1 Adopt a Congregation and help to grow it into a parish
2.2 Serve as an Educationalist in one of our schools
3. INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENTS
3.3 Boarding House
3.4 Pig Farm