6 Types of Religious Places of Worship in Indonesia – Indonesia as a plural country has various ethnicities, cultures, religions and beliefs. The six officially recognized religions in Indonesia certainly have different holidays, ways of worship and places of worship.
Indonesia gives freedom to its people to embrace religion and practice worship according to their respective teachings. This is stated in Article 28E paragraph 1 of the 1945 Constitution which reads, “Every citizen is free to embrace a religion and worship according to his religion”.
Religious differences in Indonesia have existed since ancient times. The Indians initially introduced Hinduism and Buddhism into Indonesia. Then followed by the arrival of the Gujarat people who brought Islam.
Furthermore, Protestant Christianity and Catholic Christianity were introduced by Europeans who came to Indonesia. Lastly, the Chinese came and began to bring Confucian religious teachings.
In matters of belief, Indonesia is a country that respects religious differences. The six recognized religions in Indonesia have their own characteristics.
Indonesia recognizes religion or belief as an important element to the Creator. This makes Indonesia known as a country rich in social values.
The first precept of Pancasila which reads “Belief in the One and Only God” is proof that Indonesia respects various religions or beliefs as important elements in life. Talking about religion is certainly closely related to houses of worship.
Every religion embraced by Indonesian people requires a place of worship to fulfill their spiritual needs. Each place of worship certainly has a shape and arrangement that is characteristic.
Communities often interpret houses of worship as important religious facilities for every adherent of a religion somewhere. Then the house of worship itself is synonymous with the symbol of “existence” of religious adherents.
Aside from being a symbol, a house of worship is also used as a place to worship and broadcast religion. As a place of worship, a house of worship is expected to be able to provide strong and directed encouragement to its congregation.
It aims to improve the spiritual life of the adherents of this religion. As important facilities, places of worship are a top priority so that the comfort of the people in worship is guaranteed.
In carrying out the obligation to worship God Almighty, places of worship are built to meet the spiritual needs of religious people. This article will discuss various places of worship in Indonesia. Curious what are the names of places of worship in Indonesia? Come on, see this article to the end.
6 Places of Religious Worship in Indonesia
1. Mosque (Islamic)
Illustration of the Baiturrahman Great Mosque in Banda Aceh (source: sidoharind.co.id)
The symbol of a place of worship for Muslims is the mosque. The mosque or in the English equivalent is called a mosque is a place of worship for Muslims or Muslims. The word mosque itself comes from the Spanish language, namely mezquita.
Apart from functioning as a place of worship, the mosque is a place of deliberation for Muslims to solve problems that arise in society. Then the mosque also functions as a place to increase the intelligence and knowledge of Muslims, you know, Sinaumed’s.
Not only that, mosques are often useful for celebrating holidays, fostering the integrity of congregational ties, a place for consultation, and so on. In general, a dome is characteristic of the exterior of mosques in Indonesia.
For the interior, Indonesian mosques often use calligraphy decorations on the walls and pulpits where the preacher delivers lectures. Indonesian people have a special designation for mosques that are smaller in size. They used to call it with the names musala, surau, and langgar.
In Islamic history, mosques have played an important role in social and military activities. Indonesia itself has several famous historic mosques, namely:
- Baiturrahman Grand Mosque Banda Aceh,
- Great Mosque of Al-Mashun Medan,
- Sheikh Burhanuddin Grand Mosque,
- Pekanbaru Great Mosque,
- Banten Grand Mosque,
- Great Mosque of Kauman Yogyakarta,
- Jami Kudus Mosque, and so on.
2. Church (Protestant Christianity)
Illustration of the Minahasa Bible Church (source: www.gmim.or.id)
The church is a place of worship for Protestant Christians to communicate with God. Besides being used as a place of worship, the church building is useful for building relationships between congregations and the wider community.
The church as a building or structure is built with the primary aim of facilitating gatherings. The church also has social and community functions that play an important role in helping others.
The word church itself comes from the Greek, namely “Ekklesia” which means an assembly or people who are called out. The use of the cross on the outside of the building is a very distinctive feature of a church.
In addition, traditional churches usually have a dome or tower at the top of the building. Meanwhile, more modern churches usually have layout and architectural variations.
The history of the church in Indonesia is inseparable from the influence of the Dutch. The Protestant Church in Indonesia thrived under the supervision and responsibility of the VOC during the Dutch colonial period.
For the Dutch government, the church building at that time was very special. It can be said that the Indonesian congregation is the embodiment of the Dutch congregation with Calvinist teachings. Indonesia itself has several well-known historic Protestant churches, namely:
- Protestant Church in Maluku,
- Protestant Church in Ternate and Tidore,
- Protestant Church in North Sulawesi,
- Evangelical Protestant Church in Minahasa, and
- Protestant Church in Sangir Talaud.
3. Church (Catholic Christianity)
Illustration of the Surabaya Kepanjen Church (source: www.wisataidn.com)
Adherents of Catholic Christianity call their place of worship the name of the church. The difference between a Protestant church and a Catholic church lies in the design of the building. Catholic churches generally have a more classic building design.
Then Catholic churches usually have an acute angle pointing upwards on their outbuildings. In the Catholic church there is a cross and a statue of Jesus Christ which is placed in the middle of the facade of the building.
The Catholic Church in Indonesia has communion with the Pope or the Bishop of Rome who holds the highest authority with the Council of Bishops. The arrival of the Portuguese to Maluku in 1534 marked the beginning of the history of the Catholic church in Indonesia.
Then in 1546-1547, Saint Francis Xavier visited Ambon, Sapuara and Ternate to baptize several thousand local residents. The word church in Indonesian has several meanings, namely “people”.
First, the church is not a building but a fellowship of Christians. Second, the church can be interpreted as a meeting or assembly of Christian worship. Indonesia itself has several well-known historic Catholic churches, namely:
- Kepanjen Catholic Church in Surabaya
- Sikka Maumere Old Church
- St. Peter’s Cathedral Church or Bandung Cathedral Church
- St Paul’s Church
- Jakarta Cathedral Church
4. Temple (Hinduism)
Illustration of Besakih Bali Temple (source: tripsavvy.com)
Hinduism as the officially recognized religion in Indonesia has places of worship known as temples for Hindus. While the designation of Wasi as a Hindu religious place of worship is devoted to its religious leaders.
The Hindu religion which spread throughout the archipelago entered at the beginning of the year AD. This is evidenced by the discovery of inscriptions against the Kingdom of Kutai in East Kalimantan.
Hinduism itself has a long history compared to other official religions in Indonesia. Most Hindus live in Bali. In general, temple buildings in Indonesia are designed as open buildings surrounded by walls.
Then the temple building has gates that are interconnected with many sculpted carvings. In Indonesia alone, temples are concentrated in Bali which has a majority population of Hindus.
The word “pura” as a place of worship for Hindus comes from Sanskrit which means city, city with towers or palaces, and fortified city. The temple building has a structure with the concept of trimandala which is closely related to the degree of its sanctity.
The structure of the temple is divided into three, namely the nista mandala, the middle mandala, and the main mandala. Let’s discuss them one by one. The nista mandala or jaba pisan is the outermost zone which is the entrance to the outside environment.
The zone is usually a park or field which is often used for dance performances or preparation for various ceremonies. Then the madya mandala or middle jaba section is a supporting facility or middle zone where the people’s activities are.
The zone is usually filled with bale gong, bale kulkul, wantilan, orangutan bale, and pesantrendekan bale. Finally, the main part of the mandala or jero is the most sacred zone in the temple. In this zone, Sinaumed’s will find padmasana, piyasan bale, meru pelinggih, pepelik bale, pawedan bale, murda bale, and gedong storage bale.
Apart from functioning as a place of worship for Hindus, temples are often used as a place for moral education, a place to manifest devotion to God, and a place to teach skills. Indonesia itself has several famous historical temples in Bali, namely:
- Besakih Temple,
- Uluwatu Temple,
- Tanah Lot Temple,
- Taman Ayun Temple,
- Gua Lawah Temple,
- Ulundanu Bratan Temple,
- Ulundanu Batur Temple,
- Lempuyang Temple, and
- Watu Klotok Temple.
5. Vihara (Buddhist)
Illustration of Avalokitesvara Temple (source: pinterest.com)
Buddhism as the oldest religion in the world has a place of worship called a monastery or temple. Vihara as a place of worship for Buddhists comes from the Pali language of ancient India which means a place to live or a place to perform devotional service.
In general, a monastery as a place of worship is a complex consisting of dhammasala , uposathagara , kuthi , and bhavana sabha . In addition, monasteries usually have a typical Chinese architectural style that has blended with local wisdom.
Apart from functioning as a religious center, the monastery also functions as a center for education, cultural development, social development, and a place for meetings or inauguration of Buddhist organizations. Praying, meditating, and reading parrita are activities that are often carried out in the monastery.
The monastery complex which is surrounded by a fence has several reliefs with its uniqueness. Indonesia itself has some of the oldest monasteries that are quite famous, namely:
- Talang Temple,
- Avalokitesvara Vihara,
- Hok Tek Ceng Sin Temple,
- Goddess of Compassion Temple,
- Hok Tek Bio Temple, and
- Sacred Dharma Temple.
6. Temple (Confucianism)
Illustration of Kwan Sing Bio Temple (source: visitingtuban.blogspot.com)
Confucianism as the officially recognized religion in Indonesia has a place of worship called a temple. In some areas, the temple is often called by the name of Tokong. The name is taken from the ringing of bells during the ceremony.
Apart from being a place of worship, the temple also functions as a symbol of religious beliefs, a source of spiritual teachings, a center for social activities, a center for the assimilation of arts, and a historical marker for the development of Chinese society. In general, the temple has a typical Chinese-style building.
The emergence of an old building where the worship of Confucius was held in Pontianak was the beginning of the development of the Confucian religion in the 17th century. Indonesia itself has several famous historic temples, namely:
- Kwan Sing Bio Temple in Tuban,
- Chandra Nadi Temple in Palembang,
- Tek Hay Kiong Temple in Tegal,
- Hong Tiek Hian Temple in Surabaya,
- Tay Kak Sie Temple in Semarang, and
- Sam Poo Kong Temple in Semarang.
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It is a place of worship for various religions recognized in Indonesia . As a pluralistic nation, Indonesia is certainly involved in managing religious life. Each adherent of religion has the same opportunity to create a religious life according to his teachings. Hopefully the existing diversity can become a source of national cultural wealth.