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Indonesia – The official language of Indonesia is Indonesian, though many different ethnic groups and over 700 languages and dialects are present throughout the island chain. Most of the population lives on the island of Java. Over 87% of Indonesia’s population is Muslim, with an additional 9% practicing Christianity and the remainder a mix of Buddhism and Hinduism. The small island of Bali is mostly Hindu. Indonesian culture is influenced by both the Islamic majority as well as Hinduism, Buddhism, and other traditional practices. Traditional dance and music reflect a wide variety of tribal influences, though more modern pop and rock are quite popular as well. The martial art style Silat is distinct to Indonesian culture, while soccer, badminton, and basketball are also popular. Stone sculptures, wood carving, and batik cloth are traditional crafts produced in the country. Indonesian cuisine is mostly influenced by China and India. Rice is generally the main dish, served alongside vegetables and meat. In conformity with the Islamic food law halal, pork and alcoholic beverages are not served in many parts of the country. Skewered meat kebabs known as Satay are frequently eaten with a spicy peanut sauce. Fried rice, tofu, and a variety of spices are also commonly used in meals.
*Timor-Leste (East Timor) and the Christmas are part of the Indonesia Jakarta Mission but there is no missionary presence these areas at this time*
Six missionaries entered Indonesia in January 1970, organized the first congregation in February, and baptized the first converts in March. The Church was officially recognized in Indonesia in August 1970. After recognition, several congregations were organized in Java and missionary headquarters were established in Jakarta in 1975. In 1977, The Book of Mormon was published in Indonesian. Membership at that time was 1,200. The missionary headquarters in Indonesia were closed temporarily and later reopened with an Indonesian president. In 1989, Indonesia was combined with the Singapore Mission, with headquarters in Singapore, but in 1995 it was established again in Jakarta. Currently this is the only mission in Indonesia with total church membership at 6,904 and 23 congregations.
The food served in Indonesia is known to usually be very spicey. Fried rice, tofu and a variety of spices are also commonly used in meals. Most Indonesians eat rice as the main dish for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In fact some Indonesians feel they do not eat a meal unless it is rice. In conformity with the Islamic food law, halal, pork and alcoholic beverages are not served in many parts of the country. Skewered meat kebabs known as Satay are frequently eaten with a spicy peanut sauce.
The two most common way to get around the area is by walking and public transportation (small SUVs with bench seating). The SUVs are generally crowded with limited seating. Missionaries on occasion will take the train or ride bikes.
This mission is generally safe and missionaries who are respectful to the people and following the mission rules should have no issues. Some people are aggressive against Christians and Americans. It is advised to not to force the gospel on people and to be smart in certain areas.
The people in Indonesia are very respectful and generous people. They do not like any type of confrontation or arguing. Because of that, many times they will just agree with others because they do not want to offend anyone. They will gladly invite elders into their home and be hospitable.
Mainly standard missionary equipment needed.
While serving there it is good to be prepared for all the natural disasters. There are many earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides and even terrorist attacks. Missionaries should be familiar with safety precautions for natural disasters before entering the mission field. All mail should be sent to the mission home and then will be distributed to the elders.
Jalan Senopati 115
We are still collecting information on the Indonesia Jakarta Mission. If you served in this mission and are willing to share your experiences with us, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org