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Here are some facts about Religion in Indonesia
- Islam (87.2%)
- Protestant Christianity (7%)
- Catholic Christianity (2.9%)
- Hinduism (1.7%)
- Buddhism (0.7%)
- Confucianism (0.05%)
- Indonesia’s 24 million Christians constitute 10% of the country’s population, with 7% Protestant (17 million) and 3% Catholic (7 million). Some provinces in Indonesia are majority Christian (Protestant or Catholic).
Islam, the main religion in Indonesia
According to Pew’s data, there are 205 million Indonesians who are Muslims which means that Indonesia is actually the biggest (in terms of volume) Muslim country in the world accounting for 13% of the world Muslim community.
International trade has always been a major part of the Indonesian economy. Import/Export activities started with Arabs in the 4th century but it was only business no invasion or takeover. In the 13/14th century, Arab merchants coming from Gujarat in India and Persia came in Indonesia and started to spread Islam across the country.
Geographically speaking, it started in coastal Java (where the trade occurred) to Sumatra and then northern of Central Java. Some kings even decided to convert to Islam such as the King of Demak. The king of Demak was at the origin of the wide propagation of Islam in Indonesia across the kingdoms.
Two Islamic movements occurred in 1912 and 1926. It should also be noted that there are two “types” of Islam in Indonesia. The “Traditional Islam” and the “Modernist Islam”, as explained by Martin Lewis, from Geocurrent, “the distinction is entirely different, with “Traditional Islam” meaning the Javanese custom of melding Islam with earlier Hindu and animist ideas and practices, and “Modernist Islam” denoting orthodox expressions of the faith.”
Traditional Islam also known as Abangan Islam is predominant in Central and East Java while Modernist Islam also called “Orthodox Islam” is expanding in urban areas and touches younger people.