POPULATION248,645,008 (July 2012 est.)
GDP PER CAPITA$4,700 (2011 est.)
RELIGIONSMuslim 86.1%, Protestant 5.7%, Roman Catholic 3%, Hindu 1.8%, other or unspecified 3.4% (2000 census)
ALSO IN SOUTHEAST ASIAAustralia
AT THE CENTER
Islamic Law and U.S. Foreign Policy (Panel 2: Pakistan, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Indonesia) (Full Screen)
influences, and a largely secular, democratic government that holds monotheism as one of its governing principles. Indonesia was long dominated by Indian Dharmic traditions, but Islam was introduced in the 14th century and gradually became the predominant religion of the archipelago. In the 16th century, Portuguese and Dutch colonizers introduced Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. After Indonesia secured its independence in 1949, the role of religion became a point of contention between nationalists, Islamic activists, and Communists. The Suharto dictatorship (1967-98) repressed political opposition but faced sustained challenges from Islamic and liberal groups. Since the transition to democracy in 1999, Indonesia has experienced some sporadic sectarian violence. The Indonesian Constitution guarantees religious freedom, but the government only recognizes six religions: Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Protestantism, Catholicism, and Confucianism. The Indonesian governing philosophy of Pancasila holds the “belief in the One and Only God” as essential, requiring all religions to ensure their theologies are understood in monotheistic terms.