Galela, Halmahera in Indonesia

Joshua Project has identified the Galela only in Indonesia





Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The Galela live in northeast Halmahera and on Morotai, Bacan, and Obi Islands. In 11 villages around Lake Galela, 10,000 Galela speak the Kadina target dialect. Historically the Galela were sea-faring pirates who engaged in slave trade and manned war canoes for the Sultan of Ternate. In modern times they are subsistence farmers and fishermen. The main cash crop is copra. Some people specialize in carpentry, masonry, and other part-time industries or work in government offices.

In the year 2000, most became displaced refugees due to civil war. Over 5,000 people are said to have died in North Maluku. Many of the Galela have begun to cautiously return to their lands near the end of 2002. The Galela are 60% Muslim and 40% Christian. There are underlying strata of syncretized animism in the practice of both religions. The Galela people are loosely organized socially, but have a fierce ethnic pride. The language of the home is Galela, at least for adults. In Duma village, children learn North Moluccan Malay first and eventually begin to learn Galela around age 8 or 9, since it is needed for social and ethnic identity. In other villages, Galela is learned first.

Most church services had been conducted in some level of Indonesian, but mid-week home services were often conducted in the vernacular. A volume containing Genesis and the New Testament in the Galela language was dedicated September 26, 2002, and a national team is now distributing the 6,000 copies and training church leadership to use it in their ministry and church services. The desire is to hold the entire worship service in the vernacular. Funding is still needed for the team to hold both a workshop for a group training of these church leaders and a seminar to ttrain them in one-on-one evangelism.

Profile Source:   Anonymous  

People Name General Galela
People Name in Country Galela, Halmahera
Population in Indonesia 114,000
World Population 114,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 3.1
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Halmahera, Kadai
Affinity Bloc Malay Peoples
People Cluster Maluku-Northern
People Name General Galela
Ethnic Code AON10c
People ID 11807
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 North Maluku, Galela Bay, north of Tobelo to northern tip of Halmahera; Morotai Island except southeast quadrant; Gunage and Moari islands near Kayoa, Bacan, Obi, Halmahera southwest coast, scattered.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010
Languages & Dialects on file:  2  (up to 20 largest shown)
Galela Indonesian
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Galela Indonesian
For Primary Language: Galela

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1990-2000)
New Testament Yes   (2002)
Complete Bible No
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Online New Testament (FCBH) Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Christianity
Religion Subdivision: Protestant

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 3.00 %)
55.00 %
Ethnic Religions
10.00 %
0.00 %
35.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
100.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Map Source: West Melanesia  
Profile Source: Anonymous  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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