Introduction / History Colonial buildings in the Maluku Islands like the Dutch East India Company's Fort Belgica hint at the islands' past as a center of the spice trade. Malaysia and Indonesia share many aspects of their culture, including mutually intelligible national trade languages. Populations have long moved between the areas which make up these modern-day nation states. These earlier populations have mostly effectively or partially assimilated with the larger Malay community due to religious, social, and cultural similarities.
Where are they located? They live in the province of North Maluku in the Maluku Islands of Indonesia. More specifically: Maluku Utara Province, Halmahera Selatan regency; the southern tip of Halmahera island, Gane Bay Area, nearby islands south and west, most of Damar and northwest Jaronga islands, and a large island in Patinti Strait.
What are their lives like? There are urban Malays who are well educated and hold white collar or government positions, and there are rural Malay who may or may not pursue higher learning and typically occupy jobs such as farming, trading, and fishing. While rural Malay men often wear traditional dress such as a cloth wrap-around skirt, urban Malay men tend to blend into a western setting with their blue jeans, cell phones, and polo shirts. Their language, North Moluccan Malay, is used only for spoken communication. Most also speak Indonesian.
What are their beliefs? Essentially 99 percent of the Northern Moluccan Malays are Sunni Muslims. It is said that from the moment of birth to the point of death, Islam touches the life of a Malay at a thousand points. If your sins outweigh your good deeds, you go to hell. Even the devout Muslims do not know where they will go when they die.
What are their needs? The Indonesian Constitution provides for religious freedom. However, religious violence and the lack of an effective government response to punish perpetrators and prevent further attacks continued to lead to allegations that officials allowed them to occur with impunity. In the Moluccas, where numerous churches have been attacked, the government only investigated a few cases thoroughly, and there were no reports that any perpetrators were punished. Religious intolerance, especially on the part of extreme Muslims towards religious minorities, has become increasingly evident.
Prayer Points * Pray for protection for the few believers who are often threatened by religious extremists.
* Pray that Muslims who are uncertain about their eternal destiny will be willing to investigate the forgiveness, cleansing, and eternal security found in Christ.
* Pray that those who have access to the Internet will find the Bible portions and audio Bible teaching available in their Malay dialect and in Indonesian.
* Pray for a disciple making movement to affect the Malay peoples in both countries. * Pray for completion of Bible translation in this people group's primary language. * Pray for the availability of the Jesus Film in the primary language of this people.
Maluku Utara Province, Halmahera Selatan regency; southern tip of Halmahera island, Gane bay area, nearby islands south and west: most of Damar and northwest Jaronga islands, large island in Patinti strait. (Source: Ethnologue 2016)