Ambonese in Indonesia





Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The Ambonese Malay people live in central Maluku. They are located primarily in and around the city of Ambon, on the island of Ambon. Ambonese Malay is a creole language spoken as a second language by many in surrounding areas, and is the mother tongue of about 200,000.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Many people are employed as government workers, fishermen, teachers, doctors, and nurses. The Ambonese Malay are also known for being excellent singers and storytellers.

Tension still exists today from the violence in the area between January 1999 and February 2002. Since the violence, more segregation is present between Christians and Muslims.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Islam and Christianity are the main religions of the Ambonese Malay people with adherents comprising about 55% and 45% of the population, respectively. The Protestant Dutch Reformed Church is the largest and most influential Christian group. Traditional animistic beliefs also persist among a majority of the Ambonese Malay.

What Are Their Needs?

The Ambonese Malay people need the Scriptures translated into their language.

Prayer Points

* Pray for the Scripture to be translated into Ambonese Malay, and that a team of local translators would make this a priority.
* Pray that the church hierarchy will see the value of a translation of the Ambonese Malay Bible.
* Pray that the people would view their language as a mode of communication for serious topics.

Profile Source:   Anonymous  

Expanded PDF Profile

People Name General Ambonese
People Name in Country Ambonese
Population in Indonesia 308,000
World Population 358,000
Countries 2
Progress Scale 3.2
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Ambon, Malay Ambonese, Moluccan
Affinity Bloc Malay Peoples
People Cluster Maluku-Central
People Name General Ambonese
Ethnic Code AON09e
People ID 10284
Country Indonesia
Region Southeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 47  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Central Maluku, Ambon, Haruku, Nusa Laut, Saparua Islands, along the coastal areas of Seram, and south Maluku.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010
Languages & Dialects on file:  2  (up to 20 largest shown)
Malay, Ambonese: Ambonese Muna
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Malay, Ambonese: Ambonese Muna
For Primary Language: Malay, Ambonese

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (2007-2010)
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Christianity
Religion Subdivision: Protestant

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 40.00 %)
70.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
30.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
80.0 %
Roman Catholic
20.0 %
Photo Source: Anonymous  
Map Source: West Melanesia  
Profile Source: Anonymous  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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