Indonesian in China

Population

10,200

Christian

51%

Evangelical

45%

Largest Religion

Main Language

Progress


Profile Source: Copyright © Operation China, Paul Hattaway


Identity

In 1952, 20,000 overseas Chinese refugees moved to Hainan Island after the Communist government issued an invitation for overseas Chinese to return to the "Motherland." The refugees from Malaysia were ethnic Han Chinese and have assimilated back to China easily. Today they are counted as part of the Han Chinese nationality by the government. Many of the Indonesians, however, were not of Chinese descent at all. Today they call themselves Oran Toraja, which means "people from Toraja." They have remained an ethnolinguistically distinct people group. One observer noted, "Not only do the villages speak Indonesian, but also their lifestyle remains Indonesian."


History

An additional 1,500 Indonesians came to China in the early 1960s after the failed Communist coup in Indonesia. The Chinese authorities resettled one group on Hainan Island and the other in Fujian Province. They encountered great hardship upon arrival in China. "Many of the new arrivals broke down in tears. ... They were not farmers; they had to learn from the beginning how to plant crops and reap harvests."


Customs

Ethnically, many of the Indonesians in China were from one of the tribal groups in the Toraja Mountains. They have largely forsaken their traditional clothing and customs, although some families remember their heritage on special occasions. During the Cultural Revolution, "although life was hard, they were still able to maintain a personal and ethnic identity."


Religion

Although Islam is the state religion of Indonesia, the immigrants to China are not Muslims. Most came from the heavily Christianized Sulawesi Islands.


Christianity

Close to half of the Indonesians in China profess faith in Christ. The remainder are nonreligious. On Hainan Island the Indonesians meet in their own churches, both official and underground fellowships. During the 1960s Christian worship was banned and many of the Indonesian believers were persecuted. The Indonesian church on Hainan Island is strong and meets nearly every day of the week. Since the mid-1980s Christian leaders from Sulawesi have come to Hainan to encourage and train the Indonesian believers.



Profile Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway Copyrighted ©: Yes Used with permission
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Country China
Continent Asia
Region Northeast Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Location in Country More than 8,500 Indonesians are located in four provinces of southern China. About 4,000 live on Hainan Island, with nearly the same number located in Fujian Province. A few hundred Indonesians live in southern Guangxi, and one small group has recently settled south of Kunming in Yunnan Province. The main body of Indonesians were placed in the Xinglong Overseas Chinese Farm on Hainan Island, an area good for coffee, pepper, coconut, and rubber production.
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People Name General Indonesian
People Name in Country Indonesian
ROP3 Code 114115
Joshua Project People ID 18503
Indigenous Yes
Population in China 10,200
Least-Reached No
Alternate Names for People Group Javanese Indonesian, Madurese Indonesian, Malay Indonesian, Minangkabau Indonesian, Oran Toraja, Sundanese Indonesian,
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Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Indonesian 10,233
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Affinity Bloc Malay Peoples
People Cluster Malay
People Name General Indonesian
Ethnic Code MSY44k
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Largest Religion Christianity
Buddhism
0.00%
Christianity
51%    ( Evangelical  45% )
Ethnic Religions
0.00%
Hinduism
0.00%
Islam
1.00%
Non-Religious
48.00%
Other / Small
0.00%
Unknown
0.00%
Christian Segments
Anglican
0.00%
Independent
40.00%
Protestant
60.00%
Orthodox
0.00%
Other Christian
0.00%
Roman Catholic
0.00%
Photo Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway Copyrighted ©: Yes Used with permission
Profile Source:
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
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