SUMMARY:Exotic plants and wildlife in this archipelago on the equator would seem to make this country highly desirable for travelers. Violence between Muslims and Christians shows no signs of ceasing, and after the recent bombing at a club in Bali, Indonesia is getting more dangerous for Westerners to visit.
PROFILE: Full Country Name: Republic of Indonesia Area: 1,919,440 sq km Population: 231.3 million Capital city:Jakarta (pop. approx. 11.4 million) People:: Japanese, Sundanese, Madurese, coastal Malays, and various others Language:Bahasa Indonesia, English, Dutch, Javanese and other local dialects Religion:88% Muslim, 5% Protestant, 3% Roman Catholic, 2% Hindu, 1% Buddhist, 1% other Government:Republic MONEY & COSTS: Currency: Indonesian rupiah Relative cost: Budget meal: US$1-2 Budget room: US$3-8
Traveler's checks and cash are the best method of payment is Indonesia.
TRANSPORTATION: Air travel between the islands has become more expensive in recent years, but is still cheap when compared with the rest of the world. Ferries also go between the islands for those who prefer travel by sea. On the land, the buses are the typical means of travel. They also have trains, but traveling by rail in Indonesia is pretty hit-or-miss, and you get what you pay for.
RELIGION: The religion is predominantly Islam, though many practice a different form of it than most. Some Muslim extremist groups have provoked violent attacks on Christians in the area. One group openly claims that its goal is to eradicate Christianity from the Islands. Needless to say, religion is a sensitive issue in Indonesia, and the thousands of deaths are evidence of this.
CALL TO MISSIONARIES: Indonesia is not a mission field for everyone. It takes a man or woman willing to die for the name of Christ. Though it is undoubtedly dangerous, Indonesia needs missionaries. The Christians who live there now need all the support they can get, and a country filled with so much hate and violence needs to see what the love of Christ looks like.