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Indonesian in China


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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
11,000 Indonesian Christianity 51.00 % 45.45 %   

Indonesian in China

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In 1952, 20,000 overseas Chinese refugees moved to Hainan Island after the Communist government issued an invitation for overseas Chinese to return to the "Motherland." The refugees from Malaysia were ethnic Han Chinese and have assimilated back to China easily. Today they are counted as part of the Han Chinese nationality by the government. Many of the Indonesians, however, were not of Chinese descent at all. Today they call themselves Oran Toraja, which means "people from Toraja." They have remained an ethnolinguistically distinct people group. One observer noted, "Not only do the villages speak Indonesian, but also their lifestyle remains Indonesian."

An additional 1,500 Indonesians came to China in the early 1960s after the failed Communist coup in Indonesia. The Chinese authorities resettled one group on Hainan Island and the other in Fujian Province. They encountered great hardship upon arrival in China. "Many of the new arrivals broke down in tears. ... They were not farmers; they had to learn from the beginning how to plant crops and reap harvests."

Ethnically, many of the Indonesians in China were from one of the tribal groups in the Toraja Mountains. They have largely forsaken their traditional clothing and customs, although some families remember their heritage on special occasions. During the Cultural Revolution, "although life was hard, they were still able to maintain a personal and ethnic identity."

Although Islam is the state religion of Indonesia, the immigrants to China are not Muslims. Most came from the heavily Christianized Sulawesi Islands.

Close to half of the Indonesians in China profess faith in Christ. The remainder are nonreligious. On Hainan Island the Indonesians meet in their own churches, both official and underground fellowships. During the 1960s Christian worship was banned and many of the Indonesian believers were persecuted. The Indonesian church on Hainan Island is strong and meets nearly every day of the week. Since the mid-1980s Christian leaders from Sulawesi have come to Hainan to encourage and train the Indonesian believers.

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Country: China
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Northeast
Persecution Rank:23 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:More than 8,500 Indonesians are located in four provinces of southern China. About 4,000 live on Hainan Island, with nearly the same number located in Fujian Province. A few hundred Indonesians live in southern Guangxi, and one small group has recently settled south of Kunming in Yunnan Province. The main body of Indonesians were placed in the Xinglong Overseas Chinese Farm on Hainan Island, an area good for coffee, pepper, coconut, and rubber production.
(Source: Operation China, 2000)
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Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Indonesian
People Name General: Indonesian
Alternate People Names:
Javanese IndonesianMadurese Indonesian
Malay IndonesianMinangkabau Indonesian
Oran TorajaSundanese Indonesian
ROP3 Code: 114115
Joshua Project People ID: 18503
Indigenous: No
Population in Country: 11,000
Population all Countries: 9,882,000
Least-Reached: No
Affinity Bloc: Malay Peoples
People Cluster: Malay
People Name General: Indonesian
Ethnic Code: MSY44k
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Indonesian (11,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): ind    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Christianity
Religion Sub-division:Protestant
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity51.00 %(Evangelical: 45.45 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam1.00 % 
Non-Religious48.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent40.00 %
Protestant60.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic0.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Evangelicals have a significant presence.
Least-Reached: No
GSEC Status:Level 6   Greater than or equal to 10% Evangelical
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1955-1968
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 1963-2002
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 (GRN)
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament (FCBH)
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament - New Translation ( ...
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament - Shellabear (FCBH)
Audio RecordingsOral Bible stories in Indonesian
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / VideoFather's Love Letter
Film / VideoGod's Story Video
Film / Video / Animation
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Indonesian
Film / VideoMagdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / VideoMy Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / VideoRivka (Jesus Film Project)
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / VideoThe Prophets' Story
Film / VideoThe Savior 8 - Jesus is Risen
Film / VideoThe Story
GeneralBible Visuals
GeneralFour Spiritual Laws
GeneralGot Questions Ministry
Text / Printed MatterBible: Comic Book Version (SuperBible)
Text / Printed MatterBible: Indonesian New Translation
Text / Printed MatterBible: Perjanjian Baru:Versi Mudah Dibac ...
Text / Printed MatterBible: Terjemahan Sederhana Indonesia
Text / Printed MatterBible: Terjemahan Sederhana Indonesian N ...
Text / Printed MatterBible: Today's Indonesian Version
Text / Printed MatterBible: Today's Malay Version
Text / Printed MatterBible: Today's Malay Version with Deuter ...
Text / Printed MatterBibles, Bible League
Text / Printed MatterCartoon Gospel tract
Text / Printed MatterEasyBibles
Text / Printed MatterJesus Messiah comic book
Text / Printed MatterThe Ancient Path (Indonesian)
Text / Printed MatterWorld Missionary Press Booklets
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Indonesian in China

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Malay     Asia, Northeast    
      Indonesian China    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Indonesian in China          
      Religion Language  
      Christianity     Indonesian  
    All Religions                              

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