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The Archipelago Of VOC And Christianization Mission

HISTORY OF CULTURE | The Archipelago Of VOC And Christianization Mission | Around the year 1500 there has been no political unity called "Indonesia". At that time, the territory of Indonesia which is now still a part of the world islands, the archipelago, which lies between mainland Asia and Australia. In this world the various kingdoms emerged and submerged again. With the exception of some remote areas only, these kingdoms had * a relationship with the wider world through trade routes. Export goods of the famous pepper is from Aceh, and cloves and nutmeg from North Maluku. Through a series of ports in Southeast Asia, India and the Middle East, the spices were transported to Europe. Through the line also come new ideas and new technologies.

Since the beginning of our era, Hinduism and Buddhism, which came from India, has a major influence, particularly in Sumatra and Java. However, in other areas of the pattern of life is still determined by traditional religious tribes of Malayo-Polynesian. Starting in 1300, the religion of Islam, brought by merchants from Western India, acquire an increasingly strong position. Religion was entered first into Aceh, and from there extends to the south and east. Around the year 1525 the entire north coast and most of the interior of the island of Java was ruled by Muslim kings. Islam is also embedded on the coast of Sumatra and parts of Borneo. But the natural state of the two islands of this great new lead in the 19th century that religion can be entered in the interior. Of Java, Islam jump to the Moluccas and the Southern Mindanao by passing the island of Sulawesi (Makassar new to Islam in 1605).

Because the Catholic Mission and later the Protestant Church the most developed in Eastern Indonesia, the situation there, particularly in the Moluccas, was about to be described in more detail. Maluku region divided from the point of ethnic, political, and religious. Its inhabitants include the various tribes, each of which has its own language. In the area of ​​North Maluku, there are several kingdoms, including Ternate and Tidore. In other parts of Maluku every village stand alone, but the influence of Ternate and Tidore increasingly widespread. Starting from the second paroan the 15th century, most people accept Islam Maluku, especially the kings in the north, which then bears the title of sultan, and Hitu peninsular on the island of Ambon. But some hold on to tribal religions, including most residents of Halmahera and villages in the peninsula Leitimor. Finally it should be mentioned that the Moluccan population divided by a dualistic pattern, that takes * about * tangkan Patasiwa and Patalima groups. Including the Patalima Ternate, Tidore the Patasiwa. This situation gave birth to battle constantly. In the midst of a turbulent world, the Portuguese who entered at the beginning of the 16th century is only one force in the midst of so many other forces, they can not determine its own direction they wish to travel, but more must react to the actions of others.

Entry of the Christian Religion

Early history of Christianity in Indonesia is not the same as the dawn of the Protestant Church. In 1605 the Christian religion is no longer a stranger in the archipelago. Mung * kin once the Christian merchants from Arab khalifa or from South India to set foot in Indonesia starting from the 7th century or the 8th AD In 1323-1324 a member of the Franciscan Order, Oderico de Pordenone, visiting Borneo, the palace of Majapahit, and Sumatra. Twenty years later a messenger from the Pope met with a number of Christians in Sumatra [SGA I, 34v]. However, in this era of Christianity has not been rooted in the Earth Indonesia. Congregations that there may not leave scars, and in any case consists only of migrants.

Conversely, the expansion of Christianity that took place in the 16th century laid the foundation of the church that stands today. Around the year 1500 entered the Roman Catholic mission coincided with the soldiers and Portuguese and Spanish traders. In those days people of Spain and Portugal had just managed to repel the Arab rulers of Europe, but the Islamic kingdoms in North Africa remains a security threat to Southern Europe. At that time the Turks launched a great attack in the name of Islam in Southeast Europe. They conquered Christian countries in the Balkan peninsula and in 1529 invaded the country instead of Germany. Europeans feel besieged, and attempting to make a counter-attack by moving the circular. That way they hope to also get direct access to areas of origin of luxury goods as long as it reached Europe through the mediator in the East Indies and Egypt or Turkey. Then they explore the ocean to find a way to "the Indies", which is located behind the Turkish camp.

For them, the Indian was a fairy tale, the source of unimaginable wealth. As he sailed westward, the Spaniards discovered America, which at first they thought were "the Indies" (so-called natives "Indians"). A few years later, the Portuguese managed to reach the "Indies" the truth, namely the Indian Ocean region, and immediately began a military and economic war against the Muslims there, who they view as a ally of the Turks. They are not strong enough to colonize a large area, but only seize or establish a series of fortress along the trade route that stretched from India to Indonesia and China Eastern. Main strongholds is Goa (west coast of India), Malacca (Malaysia area now), Ternate and Solor (off the coast of Flores), as well as the Macao (China offshore). From their base in America, the Spaniards colonize and Christianize the North and Central Philippine region. At a later date, their influence extends to the islands of Sangihe and North Maluku.

It is clear that the activities of Europeans in Indonesia, particularly the Portuguese, religious motives, military motifs, and motifs interwoven trade. So fortresses they have dual functions. In it there is a military barracks, warehouses for merchandise, and a church building. The priests serving the soldiers and merchants in the fort. Sometimes they also came out to bring Christianity to the natives who live around the fort. But in general spread of the gospel does not become their primary goal. Said one high official of the Portuguese era: "They come with a crucifix in one hand and a sword in the other. But when they found wealth, they immediately rule out the cross and fill their pockets ". The most active group mission is to perform the work of the clergy of the order, in particular members of the Society of Jesus (SJ) who worked in Asia since the 1540s. Beside them, the Order of Franciscans and Dominicans also need to be called.

Laying the Basic Christian Church

Here we only give an outline of the history of Catholic missions in the 16th century and the 17th. Who want to know the ropes can find in the work history of the Catholic Church in Indonesia, Volume I, and the Yeast Carita I. We will successively discuss the development of western Indonesian archipelago and in the East.

At the time the Portuguese arrived in the archipelago, the inhabitants of coastal areas of Sumatra and Java had converted to Islam. After all, in terms of politics they are relatively compact, they have formed a powerful kingdom with a relatively large area, such as Aceh, Johor, Banten and Demak. Therefore, the mission did not succeed to get a foothold there. Only in the city of Malacca, which in the 1511-1641 period is the main stronghold in the east of Portuguese Goa, there is a rather large Christian congregation, headed by a bishop. But this congregation is made up of immigrants from Europe and their descendants. Elsewhere in the western part of the archipelago there is never a stable congregation. In the 1580's there was the mission in East Java which is still part of Hindu religion; a century later, an Italian priest named Ventimiglia managed to penetrate into the interior of South Kalimantan. But the effort failed.

Developments in other Eastern Indonesia. As noted above, there the Portuguese could not determine its own direction they wish to travel, but more must react to the actions of others. Similarly with their mission. Christianity was successfully implanted in Eastern Indonesia. Only, unlike the way the expansion of rice or other food crops, grown in a planned, but more like the grasses that grow anywhere seed carried by wind or birds. Society of Jesus tried to spread the Gospel with more regular. But in the midst of storms of war, they had not managed to instill congregations in new areas. Later, in China, Japan, and India, the Jesuits and members of other orders indicates that they are able to build a solid church, so long as they can work in peace.

In 1522, less than half a century after Islam arrived at Ternate, the Portuguese set up a fort on the island. Thus, for the time they became allies of Ternate (a Muslim). In subsequent years several magnifying Ternate successfully baptized, but the royal dynasty and the mass of the people stick to the religion of Islam, which they profess since 1473. Christian community in Ternate remains "fortress church". But in some other area Christian congregations born natives. Let us realize that these churches is the result of the Moluccan own initiative. In Halmahera, population of the village on the east coast of the island requested that the Portuguese in Ternate protect them from enemies and accept the religion of their protectors (1534). They were given rudimentary religious instruction, was baptized and given a new name, the name of the Portuguese. Thus, the pattern of conversion to Christianity-like conversion to Islam.

In the long term, Christian congregations in Halmahera can not stand, because it began in 1570 a war raged between Ternate and the Portuguese, who had killed the Sultan of Ternate, Hairun. The killing led to a long partnership turned into enmity, and political reasons described above is no longer valid. Church of the fort of Ternate were wiped out with fort, and in Halmahera was the Christian religion can not survive. However, while it successfully planted the seeds of Christians in Ambon. Around the year 1510 brought Islam to Hitu of Java. In 1538, the Sultan of Ternate (Islam) with the help of allies of the Portuguese (Christian), attacking people Hitu (a Muslim), who is assisted by a fleet of Java. People Hitu defeated. Then a number of villages around the Bay of Ambon, which has not converted to Islam, calling for the Portuguese. They also would receive their religious friends. In later Christianity spread to other villages in Ambon and Lease. Just as Christians in Halmahera, Ambon who can not live peacefully. They must constantly resist the attacks of Ternate and Hitu, and they should help in his battle against Ternate Tidore. However, in contrast to Halmahera, Ambon and Christianity can survive in the future is also widespread.

Christianity also spread to North Sulawesi and Sangihe. In 1563 the King of Manado and the number of people baptized. Siau king happened to be visiting there and participate baptized; population Siau island itself followed some years later. But since the Portuguese increasingly pressured by the Ternate, this seed can not be maintained. New in the 17th century, when the Spaniards from the Philippines to expand their influence into the region, successfully established congregations rather steady.

Christianity also spread over a region that lies outside the influence of the Sultan of Ternate, which is in East Nusa Tenggara. This area is important for Portuguese traders, since they produce sandalwood, which is sold in India and China. In 1556 five thousand people are baptized on the island of Timor. Thus was born the Christian congregations in Flores and on several other islands. Dominicans here are active. They established a kind of religious state, with the center on the island of Solor. Fort in Solor was they who built it. In this area also Christian groups involved in wars and are often attacked by outside forces. But they survived and grew into a kind of enclave of Portuguese in Southeast Asia.

Thus, the spread of Christianity in the 16th century was the beginning of the history of religion in Indonesia. We mention a few characteristics. (1) Christianity is not imposed on people of Indonesia, but accepted by them based on political considerations, economic, ethnological, military. (2) The spread of Christianity is not a purely religious phenomenon, but intertwined with other factors. (3) The emphasis of the Christian congregation located in Eastern Indonesia. (4) For adherents, Christianity is not a foreign element, but one's own. Indigenous religion and culture as well as a new religion that blends into a new identity. (5) Christians are willing to treat * hold * it, and defend their new identities against all enemies. Age was also the * right * to witness the faith who are willing to die for his faith.

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