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Indonesia: Ethnic Minorities
Country Study > Chapter 2 > The Society and Its Environment > Sources of Local Identification > Ethnic Minorities

ETHNIC MINORITIES


In Indonesia the concept of ethnic minorities is often discussed not in numerical but in religious terms. Although the major ethnic groups claimed adherence to one of the major world religions (agama) recognized by the Pancasila ideology -- Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, or Buddhism -- there were millions of other Indonesians in the early 1980s who engaged in forms of religious or cultural practices that fell outside these categories. These practices were sometimes labelled animist or kafir (pagan). In general, these Indonesians tended to live in the more remote, sparsely populated islands of the archipelago. Following the massacre of tens of thousands associated with the 1965 coup attempt, religious affiliation became an even more intense political issue among minority groups. The groups described below represent only a sampling of the many minorities.

Data as of November 1992




Last Updated: November 1992


Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Indonesia was first published in 1993. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on Factba.se.

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