Chinese Christians Survived Discrimination in Indonesia. Now the Church Is Growing Spiritually.

Q&A with pastor Samuel Fu on the evangelical challenges in the nation of a thousand islands.

When Christians around the world today think of Indonesia, the first thing that may come to mind is “the country with the largest Muslim population in the world.” However, Indonesia is a culturally and religiously diverse country. Christians are an estimated 10 percent of Indonesia’s population of 210 million, putting Indonesia in the upper third of countries with the largest numbers of Christians.

Today, millions of the Chinese diaspora community live in Indonesia (estimated numbers range from more than 2 million to more than 7 million, depending on the statistical method). There are Chinese churches with different traditions and compositions throughout Indonesia.

Historically, Chinese in Indonesia were discriminated against and marginalized at various times. How did the Chinese church in Indonesia survive and develop in the difficult past? In today’s Indonesia, there are also some unique regulations on religious practices. What impact would that have on Chinese church growth? What evangelical challenges and opportunities do Chinese churches in Indonesia face serving the younger generation in today’s multicultural environment?

The following is part of a transcript of an interview of pastor Samuel Fu of Pontianak Congregation of West Kalimantan Christian Church by David Doong, general secretary of the Chinese Coordination Center for World Evangelism (CCCOWE) in February 2022.

Multiculturalism in the nation of a thousand islands

Doong: If you were to introduce Indonesia to people who didn’t know much about it, what would you say? What is the situation of the Chinese immigrants in Indonesia?

Fu: Indonesia is a country of a thousand islands, or nusantara in Indonesian. It is a country composed …

Continue reading…