Churches in Indonesia: How do they differ, really?

“What are the differences between [Insert Church Name Here] and [Insert Another Church Name Here]?”

  1. Whether they belong to the Western or Eastern tradition of Christianity
  2. From which family of tradition they stem
  3. How the church is governed
  4. How they view the bible

1. Western or Eastern?

The East-West Schism of 1054 AD (Source: Encyclopaedia Britannica)

2. Which family within the West (or East)?

Gereja Katolik Santa Maria Tak Bercela (Source: Wikipedia)
HKBP Onan Runggu Distrik II Silindung (Source: Facebook HKBP Onan Runggu)
Gereja Kristus Yesus Makassar (Source:
Jemaat Kristen Indonesia Mahanaim (Source:
All Saints Anglican Church Jakarta (Source:
Gereja Baptis Cengkareng Indah (Source: Facebook Gereja Baptis Cengkareng Indah)
Gereja Methodist Immanuel Bandar Lampung (Source: Facebook GMI Bandar Lampung)
Gereja Sidang-sidang Jemaat Allah Eben Haezer Surabaya (Source:
Gereja Kristus Di Indonesia Jakarta (Source:
Gereja Masehi Advent Hari Ketujuh Hang Tuah (Source:
Gereja Orthodox St. Thomas Jakarta (Source: Facebook Gereja Orthodox St. Thomas Jakarta)

3. Who governs the church?

Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Jakarta (Source:

4. What is the bible to them?

Poster for a seminar held by GBIA Graphe (Source: Facebook GBIA Graphe)
Poster for a KKR held by Rev. Stephen Tong (Source:
Flyer for a seminar about LGBT held by GKI SW Jateng (Source:


  1. Jakarta Praise Community Church (JPCC)
  2. Gereja Bethel Indonesia (GBI)
  3. Gereja Protestan Indonesia bagian Barat (GPIB)

Key takeaways

  • Christianity in Indonesia retains heavy influence from the West
  • Even churches in doctrinal agreement can be organizationally separate
  • As much as Christians try to build a divider between religion and politics, the reciprocal influence between the two is still visible


  1. Western, Protestant — Anabaptist, Congregationalist, Sola scriptura — Evangelical
  2. Western, Protestant — Pentecostal, Congregationalist, Prima scriptura — Evangelical
  3. Western, Protestant — Calvinist, Presbyterian, Sola scriptura — Liberal

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Jonathan Kent

Jonathan Kent

I read twice as much as I talk and I talk thrice as much as I write.

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