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Acehnese in Indonesia


Send us a photo of this people.  [1]

Acehnese in Indonesia map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
3,995,000 Aceh Islam 0.12 % 0.01 %   

Acehnese in Indonesia

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Introduction / History
The Aceh people live on the northern tip of the island of Sumatra in Aceh province. Their provincial capital of Banda Aceh used to be a stopover for Southeast Asian Muslims traveling by ship to Mecca. For this reason the city is sometimes known as "The Veranda of Mecca". The Aceh people, also known as the Akhir, A-Tsing and Urueng, are the majority ethnic group in Aceh. Known throughout Indonesia as devout followers of Islam, they are very proud of their Muslim faith. Their lives are strongly influenced by Islamic law and Aceh province even has special autonomy to apply Islamic law instead of Indonesian national law in certain cases. The Aceh speak their own language and most also speak the Indonesian national language. The Aceh are a blend of many races, which might explain why the Aceh in some areas are taller than most Indonesians. The Aceh are a majority in the regencies of Aceh Besar, Pidie, North Aceh and West Aceh; they are a minority in Central and South Aceh.

What are their lives like?
Most Aceh are either farmers or fishermen. Traditional homes in Aceh consist of a sleeping room and a large living room, which may also serve as the kitchen containing a rectangular clay hearth filled with ashes. These houses generally stand on stilts two meters high. Families use the space beneath the house to keep cows, sheep, goats and chickens, or to store tools and firewood. The floor and walls are made of bamboo or wood from coconut trees. Roofs are covered with clay tiles or thatch made of palm leaves. Most new homes built today, however, are from cement block and mortar. Traditionally, both men and women in Aceh wore a sarong, a modest and colorful skirt. However, in recent years there has been a move toward Islamic dress. The traditional Aceh weapon is the rencong, an ornate sword. Men wear it folded into the sarong as one of the accessories to their ceremonial dress. Women typically run the households, while men tend to stay out of domestic affairs, including child rearing. All children, even the youngest, are expected to help with the family work. Inheritance is settled according to Islamic law with men receiving a double portion, yet houses and land are always passed down to the women.

What are their beliefs?
The Aceh people are strict Sunni Muslims and have been very instrumental in spreading Islam throughout Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries. It is often stated that "to be Aceh is to be Muslim." The Aceh people have strongly and even violently opposed other Aceh people who converted to other religions. Because Aceh was the first province in Indonesia where Shari'a Islamic law was formally instituted, other strongly Islamic provinces are also seeking to implement Shari'a law. The law requires all women, even non-Muslims, to wear head coverings. Other ethnic groups living in Aceh province, however, may worship according to their own religion. Orthodox Islam for many Aceh people is combined with animistic beliefs in spirits and various superstitions. These beliefs center on seeking protection through magic by either appeasing or controlling both good and bad spirits.

What are their needs?
In December 2004, Aceh was hit by a tsunami that destroyed many areas and took 120,000 lives. All the affected areas, including Banda Aceh and Meulaboh, are majority Aceh areas. Several non-government organizations continue helping Aceh's recovery, but most have now left, yet Aceh still needs reconstruction and rehabilitation.

View Acehnese in all countries.

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2007-06-04
Global Prayer Digest: 2010-06-11
Global Prayer Digest: 2011-05-30
Global Prayer Digest: 2012-07-03
Global Prayer Digest: 2014-06-23
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Country: Indonesia
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Southeast
Persecution Rank:33 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:North tip of Sumatra, both coasts, Aceh Province, Aceh Besar, Aceh Jaya, Aceh Barat, Nagan Raya, Aceh Barat Daya, Aceh Selatan, Aceh Sinkil, Aceh Tamiang, Kota Langsa, Aceh Timr, Aceh Utara, Kota Lhokseumawe, Bireuen, Pidie Jaya, and Pidie regencies; Weh and neighboring islands off north tip; into Sumatera Utara Province, Tapanuli Tengah regency, south coast enclave.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
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Country Map:Political map
Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Acehnese
People Name General: Acehnese
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 100036
Joshua Project People ID: 10144
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 3,995,000
Population all Countries: 4,084,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Malay Peoples
People Cluster: Aceh of Sumatra
People Name General: Acehnese
Ethnic Code: MSY44b
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Aceh (3,995,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): ace    Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect:Tunong
Dialect Code:6657
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.03 % 
Christianity0.12 %(Evangelical: 0.01 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam99.85 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic0.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
GSEC Status:Level 1   Less than 2% Evangelical. Some evangelical resources available, but no active church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1973
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 1997
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio
Film / Video / Animation
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Aceh
Film / VideoLUMO film of Gospels
Film / VideoWorld Christian Videos
GeneralBible for Children
GeneralGospel resources links
Mobile AppDownload audio Bible app from Google Pla ...
Text / Printed MatterBible: Aceh
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Acehnese in Indonesia

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Aceh of Sumatra     Asia, Southeast    
      Acehnese Indonesia    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Acehnese in Indonesia          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Aceh  
    All Religions                              

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