Religion in Indonesia – The Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia as we know has various ethnicities, cultures and beliefs. Each belief itself has differences between one another which often creates differences of opinion between one belief and another.
In Indonesia itself, there are six religions that have been recognized and live side by side in society by respecting the values shared by one another. Six religions that have been recognized in Indonesia are Islam, Protestant Christianity, Catholic Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. The following is an explanation of each of these religions.
Get to know 6 Religions in Indonesia
1. Religion of Islam
a. A Brief History of Islam
Islam is the religion that forms the majority of the people in Indonesia and it is estimated that the emergence of Islam occurred around 1400 years ago, namely 610 AD which was marked by the acceptance of the first revelation of the Qur’an in Mecca by Muhammad Saw.
In Indonesia itself, Islam was first entered around the 7th or 8th century through Arab and Persian traders who came to Indonesia at that time.
Based on data released by the Central Bureau of Statistics, it is estimated that there are 207.2 million people who embrace Islam in Indonesia, with a percentage of 87.2 percent of the entire Indonesian population and being the largest religion in Indonesia.
To find out more about Islamic history and its explanation from an Islamic perspective, such as during the time of the Prophet Muhammad, the Fourth Caliph, the Umayyad Dynasty, the Abbasid Dynasty, to the present. The Smart Book of Islamic History is here to explain it all and summarize it in one book.
b. The Holy Book of Islam – Al Qur’an
In Islamic teachings the holy book used is the Al-Qur’an which consists of 114 chapters, 30 juz, and 6236 verses according to the history of Hafsh, 6262 verses according to the history of Ad-Dut, as well as 6214 verses according to the history of Warsy.
Here are some sequentially the 114 letters in the Qur’an, namely, Al Fatihah or Opener, Al Baqarah or Cow, Ali Imran or Imran’s Family, An Nisa or Woman, Al Ma’idah or Banquet, Al An’am or Livestock, Al-A’raf or the Highest Place, Al-Anfal or the Spoils of War, At-Taubah or Forgiveness, Yunus or Prophet Yunus, Hud or Prophet Hud, Yusuf or Prophet Yusuf, Ar-Ra’d or Thunder , Ibrahim or Prophet Abraham, Al-Hijr or Mount Al Hijr, An-Nahl or Bees, Al-Isra’ or Night Journey, Al-Kahf or Cave-dwellers, Maryam, Ta Ha, Al-Anbiya, Al-Hajj, Al-Mu’minun or Believers, An-Nur or Light, Al-Furqan or Discriminator, Asy-Syu’ara’ or Poets, An-Naml or Ants, Al-Qasas or Stories, Al-‘Ankabut or the Spiders, Ar-Rum or the Romans, Luqman or the Luqman Family,As-Sajdah or Sajdah, Al-Ahzab or Groups allied to Saba’ or the Sabaeans, Fatir or Creator, and many more.
c. Islamic Religious Holidays
Islam has several big days, including:
- Eid al-Fitr or what we know better as Eid, which in 2021 falls on May 13, 2021.
- Eid al-Adha, which in 2021 falls on July 20, 2021, is done to commemorate the sacrifice made by Prophet Ibrahim AS.
- Hijriyah New Year, which in 2021 falls on August 9, 2021. This celebration is carried out to continue to remind Muslims of the history of the Prophet Muhammad’s migration.
- Isra Mi’Raj, which in 2021 falls on March 11, 2021. This celebration is carried out to commemorate the night journey undertaken by Rasulullah SAW.
2. Protestant Christianity
a. History of Protestant Christianity
Christianity is a religion that first appeared around 2000 years ago. The first appearance of this religion occurred in Holland in the 16th century which was influenced by the teachings of Calvinism and Lutheranism.
Based on data released by the Central Bureau of Statistics, it is estimated that there are 16.5 million people who embrace Protestant Christianity in Indonesia, with a percentage of 6.9 percent of the total Indonesian population and being the second largest religion in Indonesia.
In learning more deeply about the values of Protestant Christianity, the Protestant Christian Church in Bali (GKPB) issued a book Rooted, Growing, Fruitful in Christ.
b. Protestant Christian Bible – The Bible
Holders of the Protestant Christian religion call us holy as the Bible which consists of 66 parts which are divided into two parts, namely 39 which enter into the Old Testament and 27 which enter into the New Testament.
The Old Testament and New Testament in the Bible can be further grouped into several sections based on the style of writing and content. The Old Testament consists of five parts, namely:
- The Torah consists of 5 books
- The Book of History which consists of 12 books
- The Book of Poetry which consists of 5 books
- The Book of the Major Prophets which consists of 5 books
- And finally, the Book of the Minor Prophets which consists of 12 books.
Furthermore, the New Testament is grouped into four parts, namely:
- The Bible consists of 4 books
- The Book of History which consists of 1 book
- The Epistles of the Apostles which consists of 21 books
- And finally, the Book of Revelation which consists of 1 book.
c. Protestant Christian Holidays
- Christmas is a celebration that is held to commemorate the birth of Jesus which falls on December 25,
- Easter is a celebration held to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus.
- Pentecost is a celebration held to commemorate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit which took place 50 days after Easter.
- The Ascension of Jesus Christ is a celebration that commemorates the ascension of Jesus which took place 40 days after Easter.
- Death of Isa Almasih is a celebration which is held to commemorate the death of Jesus which is done 3 days after Easter.
a. History of the Catholic Religion
Catholicism is a religion that first appeared in the Maluku islands with the arrival of the Portuguese to Indonesia with a mission to look for spices. The people of Maluku also became the first followers of Catholicism in Indonesia.
Based on data released by the Central Bureau of Statistics, it is estimated that there are 6.9 million people who embrace Catholic Christianity in Indonesia, with a percentage of 2.9 percent of the total Indonesian population and being the third largest religion in Indonesia.
As a means and tool to explore values and have an understanding of the Catholic Faith, the book Catholic Faith: Information and Reference Books can be used by Sinaumed’s as a source of information.
b. The Holy Bible of the Catholic Religion
In Catholic Christianity the mention of the Scriptures is also the same as Protestant Christianity, namely the Bible. The Bible in the teachings of Catholic Christianity is divided into 73 books which are further divided into 46 which enter into the Old Testament and 27 which enter into the New Testament.
Almost the same as the Protestant Christian Bible, the Old Testament and New Testament in the Catholic Bible are also divided into several sections. The Old Testament consists of four parts, namely:
- The Pentateuch is divided into 5 books, namely Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, We Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
- The Book of History is divided into 16 books namely, the Book of Joshua, the Book of Judges, the Book of Ruth, the Book of 1 Samuel, the Book of 2 Samuel, the Book of 1 Kings, the Book of 2 Kings, the Book of 1 Chronicles, the Book of 2 Chronicles, the Book of Ezra , Book of Nehemiah, Book of Tobit, Book of Judith, Book of Esther, Book of 1 Maccabees, and Book of 2 Maccabees.
- The Poetic and Wisdom books are divided into 7 books, namely, the Book of Job, the Book of Psalms, the Book of Proverbs, the Book of Ecclesiastes, the Book of Song of Solomon, the Book of Wisdom of Solomon, and the Book of Prince Sirach.
- The Books of the Prophets are divided into 18 books namely, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Baruch, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, the Book of Zephaniah, the Book of Haggai, the Book of Zechariah, and the Book of Malachi.
Furthermore, the New Testament is grouped into five sections, namely:
- The Bible is divided into 4 books namely, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
- The Acts of the Apostles which is a form of record regarding faith, its growth and how the early Church lived.
- Epistula or Epistles, which are divided into two groups namely, Paul’s Epistles and Apostolic Epistles.
Paul’s letters are letters written by Saint Paul and his disciples in 54 AD to 80 AD Paul’s letters are divided into 14 parts, namely, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, and Hebrews.
Furthermore, the Apostolic Letters which are written by several writers in 65 AD to 95 AD. The Apostolic Letters are divided into 7 parts namely, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and Jude .
- The Book of Revelation which is the last book in the New Testament written in 90 AD.
c. Catholic Holidays
- Christmas, like Protestant Christians, celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25th.
- The Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a celebration held to commemorate the Church’s belief that Our Lady was conceived without blemish which falls on December 8th.
- The Ascension of Isa Al Masih is a celebration held to commemorate the ascension of Jesus Christ to heaven which falls on the 40th day after Easter.
- The Easter Holy Triday is divided into three holy days, namely Maundy Thursday which is held to commemorate the Last Supper of Jesus with his disciples, Good Friday which is done to commemorate the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, and Easter day to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
a. History of Hindu Religion
Hinduism first came to Indonesia through a trading network stretching from China to India, which is estimated to have occurred around the beginning of the fourth century. The emergence of Hinduism was marked by the establishment of the Ktai and Tarumanegara kingdoms which adhered to Hindu values.
Based on data released by the Central Bureau of Statistics, it is estimated that there are 4 million people who embrace Hinduism in Indonesia, with a percentage of 1.7 percent of the total population in Indonesia and being the fourth largest religion in Indonesia.
b. Vedas – The Holy Scriptures of Hindu Religion
In Hinduism, the Scriptures used as teachings are the Vedas or Vedas. Veda itself has a meaning that comes from the Sanskrit language, namely Vid which means knowing or knowledge. So that the Vedas or Vedas have the meaning as sacred knowledge which is perfect and eternal and originates from Hyang Widhi Wasa.
The Veda in its division consists of two major groups called the Sruti Veda , which contains revelation and the Smrti Veda , which is a guide or manual originating from the Sruti Veda .
The Sruti Veda in the teachings of Hinduism is a book of revelation that was directly sent down by God. Weda Sruti also has another name, namely Catur Veda which is divided into several parts, namely:
- Rg. Veda or Rg Veda Samhita
- Same Veda Samhita
- Yajur Veda Samhita
- Atharwa Veda Samhita
The Veda Smrti, whose content is a form of systematic arrangement and grouping of material, is divided into two major groups, viz
- The Wedangga group consists of six areas, namely Siksa or Phonetika, Wyakarana or Grammar, Chanda or Song, Nirukta, Jyotisa or Astronomy, and Kalpa.
- The Upaweda group consists of five types, namely Itihasa, Purana, Arthasastra, Ayur Weda, and Gandharwa Weda.
c. Hindu Religious Holidays
- Nyepi is a celebration held to commemorate New Saka year which is done once a year.
- Kuningan is a holy day which is celebrated every six months which falls right after the ten day celebration of Galungan day.
- Galungan is celebrated every six months as a holy day which is carried out as a celebration of the victory of virtue over evil.
The arrival of Buddhism in Indonesia occurred in the fifth century AD, this is estimated by looking at the remains of the inscriptions found. Buddhism was first thought to have been brought by the traveler Fa Hsien who came from China. In the 7th century, there was a Buddhist kingdom that flourished in Indonesia, namely the Sriwijaya Kingdom which became the center of the development of Buddhism in Southeast Asia which existed until 1377.
Based on data released by the Central Bureau of Statistics, it is estimated that there are 1.7 million people who embrace Buddhism in Indonesia, with a percentage of 0.7 percent of the total population in Indonesia and being the fifth largest religion in Indonesia.
b. Buddhist Scriptures
Buddhism or what is often called Buddha Dhamma has a holy book which is often known as the Pitaka or Basket. The Pitaka is divided into three major groups consisting of the Vinaya Pitaka, the Sutta Pitaka. And the Abhidhamma Pitaka.
- Vinaya Pitaka, is a section that contains matters and rules for adherents of Buddhism or better known as Bhikku and Bhikkuni divided into three parts, namely the Suttavibhanga, the Khandhaka which has two books (Mahavagga and Cullavagga), and finally the Parivara.
- The Sutta Pitaka is divided into five sections in book form.
- The Digha Nikaya consists of 34 suttas, which are divided into three sections, namely, the Silakkhandhavagga, Mahavagga, and Patikavagga.
- Majjhima Nikaya which consists of intermediate discourses, which are divided into three parts, namely the first Two Pannasa which contains 50 suttas, and the last Pannasa which contains 52 suttas.
- The Anguttara Nikaya consists of eleven sections which include 9,557 suttas.
- The Samyutta Nikaya consists of 7,762 suttas.
- Khuddaka Nikaya which consists of a collection of 15 books.
The Abhidhamma Pitaka consists of seven books, namely Dhammasangani, Vibhanga, Dhatukatha, Punggalapannatti, Kathavatthu, Yamaka, and Patthana.
c. Buddhist Holidays
- Vesak Day is carried out by holders of Buddhism in commemorating the birth of Buddha.
- Magha Day is a celebration carried out by adherents of Buddhism which is celebrated in the form of religious ceremonies.
- Asadha Day is a celebration held to commemorate the first time Gautama Buddha taught Dhamma to five ascetics. In 2021 it falls on July 24, 2021.
a. History of Confucianism
The teachings of Confucius or Confucianism which later turned into Confucianism as we know it today first appeared in Indonesia in the 17th century, where one of the evidences is an old building in Pontianak which was used as a place of worship for adherents of this teaching.
Based on data released by the Central Bureau of Statistics, it is estimated that there are 0.1 million people who embrace Confucianism in Indonesia, with a percentage of 0.05 percent of the total population in Indonesia and being the sixth largest religion in Indonesia.
b. Confucianism Scriptures
Confucianism has two main books, namely the Book of Si Shu and the Book of Wu Jing which are divided into several parts.
The Si Shu Book, which is directly sourced from the Confucian Prophet to Meng Zi, has several chapters, namely:
- The Book of Great Teachings or what is called Da Xue / Thai Hak
- The Perfect Middle Book or what is called Zhong Yong / Tiong Yong
- The Book of the Holy Word or what is called Lun Gi / Lun Yu
- And finally, the Bingcu Book or what is called Meng Zi / Bing Cu
The Wu Jing Scriptures, which originate from the Ancient Prophets and Holy Kings, consist of:
- The Book of Poetry or what is called the Shi Jing
- The Book of Hikayat or what is called Shu Jing
- The Book of Changes, also known as the Yi Jing
- The Book of Morality or what is called Li Jing
- The Book of Chun Chiu or what is called Chun Qiu Jing
c. Confucian Religious Holidays
- Chinese New Year which falls on the first day of the first lunar month. In carrying out this celebration, usually the younger people give greetings to the elders.
- Cap Go Meh is a holiday that is commemorated by carrying out a prayer ceremony which falls on the 15th of the first lunar month as a form of gratitude and starting a new life to God.
- Cheng Beng, which falls on April 5 or the third lunar month, is an activity to clean tombs and menaka damaged tombs.
So, that’s an explanation of the various religions in Indonesia along with their respective Holy Scriptures and Big Celebration Days. The diversity of religions in Indonesia is not a source of division for every society. However, it becomes a strength for the State of Indonesia because of this diversity and the tolerance of each religion.
If Sinaumed’s is interested in knowing more about religious teachings in Indonesia, you can look for religious books that can broaden your horizons which are only available at www.sinaumedia.com as #Friends Without Borders. Hope it is useful!
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