In this article, I argue that Nederlandsch Zendingsvereeniging (NZV) missionaries played an important role in improving the position of women in the society of West Java. Although their main motivation was the spreading of Christianity, they were fully aware of perspectives on the inferior status of women and were concerned to improve the latter’s position. The missionaries aimed to regulate marriage and address the problem of concubinage, establish schools for women, accept women as part of the staff in their offices, provide space for women to vote for and become church councillors, and even dared to allow women to be ministers in at least one congregation when this had been a proscribed subject. But their efforts seemed so exclusively confined to Christian circles, that their influence did not go beyond to the wider community.
Christianity in Indonesia is often stigmatized as a colonial religion, the religion of the Dutch, and the religion of infidels. This was due to the general view prevailing in Indonesia that Christianity, in the process of its spreading, received support from the Dutch East Indies government. This essay argues that the Dutch political religious policies were not favourable for developing Christianity in Java. The development of Christianity, especially in East Java, was not driven by Dutch missionaries; on the contrary, by entrepreneurs, independent people, and then continued by Javanese who had become Christians.
In the second half of the 19th century, there was an outbreak of Malaria and Cholera in the Nederlandsch Indie region, including the Cirebon Residency. As a result, during epidemics, people died like rats. This was the situation faced by NZV missionaries. How did the NZV missionaries respond to this problem? By using the historical method, I found several facts that the NZV missionaries, especially Verhoeven, had contributed greatly to developing public health in the Cirebon Residency. Verhoeven through medical services was also able to arouse the philanthropic spirit of European entrepreneurs to establish an auxiliary hospital in Cideres and support monthly operational costs so that health services were provided free of charge.
The purpose of this article is to analyze religious responses to the policy of Indonesian government in dealing with the covid-19 pandemic. Article 4 of Government Regulation (PP) No. 21/2020 mentions restrictions on religious activities. The response of the religious community to this government policy was varied. The Council of Indonesian Ulama, Majelis Ulama Indonesia (mui), issued several fatwas containing a ban on worship involving large numbers of people. A small group of fanatic Muslims initially opposed the policy, but eventually followed it. Among Protestants, the mainstream and Pentecostal churches under the Communion of Churches in Indonesia (pgi) are highly coordinated with government regulations. Some Pentecostal churches attempted to continue holding worship together for reasons of holy communion, but eventually they followed government regulations. The Catholic church followed government regulations consistently.
Between 1965 and 1980, the Indonesian government issued three religious policies. These had both positive and negative impacts on Christianity in Indonesia. As a positive impact, the Indonesian Council of Churches (DGI) and the Supreme Council of Indonesian Bishops (MAWI) were motivated to work together in lobbying the government. The policies also boosted the growth of local leadership in Catholic churches. However, the policies also brought a negative impact in that it became difficult for churches to obtain an IMB (Building Permit). In mid-eighties, Christianity could still perform religious services in churches without any disturbances, but after the 1990s, churches with no Building Permit were banned by some radical Islamic organizations. Preaching the gospel was considered violation of the law and a Christian could be sent to prison for performing this activity.