Religious Affiliation in Indonesia

A mosque in Malang, indonesia
A mosque in Malang, indonesia

Religion in Indonesia was a complex and volatile issue in the early 1990s, one not easily analyzed in terms of social class, region, or ethnic group. Although Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, and other religions influenced many aspects of life, the government generally discouraged religious groups from playing a political role.

The state guaranteed tolerance for certain religions (agama) regarded as monotheistic by the government, including Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism, but only as long as these creeds remained outside of politics.

Religious Affiliation, 1980 and 1985:

Religion 1980 1985
Muslim 87.1 86.9
Protestant 5.8 6.5
Catholic 3.0 3.1
Hindu 2.0 1.9
Buddhist 0.9 1.0
Other 1.2 0.6
TOTAL 100.0 100.0

Source: Based on information from Indonesia, Central Bureau of Statistics, Statistik Indonesia/Statistical Handbook of Indonesia, 1986, Jakarta, January 1987, 168-69.

Religious Affiliation by Provincial-Level Unit, 1991:

Provincial-Level Unit Muslim Protestant Catholic Hindu Buddhist Other Total1
Aceh 97.75 1.50 0.25 0.02 0.47 0.01 100.00
Bali 5.22 0.58 0.47 93.18 0.55 — – 100.00
Bengkulu 97.38 1.32 0.62 0.22 0.46 100.00
Irian Jaya 14.90 64.30 20.70 0.14 0.10 100.00
Jakarta 84.83 5.94 4.76 0.96 3.51 100.00
Jambi 92.16 0.73 0.73 0.20 0.34 5.842 100.00
Jawa Barat (West) 97.70 1.10 0.50 0.11 0.50 0.20 100.00
Jawa Tengah (Central) 95.50 2.20 1.60 0.20 0.40 0.10 100.00
Jawa Timur (East) 96.70 2.00 0.70 0.40 0.20 100.00
Kalimantan Barat (West) 54.02 9.00 19.29 0.12 2.70 14.872 100.00
Kalimantan Selatan (South) 97.61 0.82 0.34 0.30 0.20 0.732 100.00
Kalimantan Tengah (Central) 67.70 15.40 1.00 15.80 0.10 — – 100.00
Kalimantan Timur (East) 85.68 9.54 4.01 0.22 0.55 100.00
Lampung 94.40 1.60 1.00 2.37 0.60 0.10 100.00
Maluku 54.80 40.90 4.00 0.10 0.10 0.1 100.00
Nusa Tenggara Barat (West) 95.90 0.60 0.40 2.90 0.10 0.1 100.00
Nusa Tenggara Timur (East) 9.80 27.60 54.20 0.11 0.15 8.4 100.00
Riau 87.30 2.30 0.50 1.31 7.30 2.70 100.00
Sulawesi Selatan (South) 88.40 8.50 1.40 0.50 0.30 1.00 100.00
Sulawesi Tengah (Central) 76.00 20.30 0.30 2.80 0.20 0.4 100.00
Sulawesi Tenggara (South-East) 98.00 1.30 0.30 0.40 0.05 100.00
Sulawesi Utara (North) 44.10 49.10 2.90 0.58 0.20 0.1 100.00
Sumatera Barat (West) 97.90 0.90 0.90 0.20 0.30 100.00
Sumatera Selatan (South) 94.30 1.30 1.10 0.30 1.80 1.30 100.00
Sumatera Utara (North) 63.22 27.96 4.60 0.41 3.68 0.13 100.00
Timor Timur (East Timor) 1.70 2.60 91.40 0.30 0.10 3.902 100.00
Yogyakarta 91.20 3.50 5.00 0.30 0.10 100

—means negligible.
1 Figures may not add to total because of rounding. The source of the information used in this table did not provide totals. The last year for which total figures on religious affiliation have been made available by the Indonesian government is 1985.
2 No “other” category was reported. The figure represents the estimated difference between the total of the other religions and 100 percent when data provided by the source did not add to 100. 

Source: Based on information from Indonesia, Department of Information, Directorate of Foreign Information Services, Indonesia 1992: An Official Handbook, Jakarta, 1992, 55- 72.

Figures in percentages. 


Data as of November 1992

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Photographer based in Norway. See a collection of my best photos in the portfolio. Licensing of images is done through Photoshelter or alamy.
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