Indonesia Church Records

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Asia go to Indonesia For information about records for non-Christian religions in Indonesia, go to the Religious Records page.

Church records (Daftar gerja)

These records contain information on births or baptisms, marriages, marriage proclamations, deaths or burials, confirmations, church censuses and memberships. Usually the information given is quite complete and identifies parents and often grandparents and other relationships. There are gaps, however, in many parish registers. Earliest records exist from 1579. Records are generally located in Diocese and parish archives or at the local church.

The Indonesian constitution guarantees religious freedom. There are six officially recognized religions in Indonesia: Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism, and many more unofficial religions. Culturally Indonesians do not make any distinction between Protestant denominations and view Christians as either Catholic or Protestant.

Religious Denomination Begin
Roman Catholic 1579
Dutch Reformed 1595
Indonesian Christian Church 1844
German Lutheran 1861
Baptist 1900
Methodist 1900
Protestant Episcopal 1901

Record Content

Baptismal records

  • Baptism dates
  • Cchildren’s names
  • Parents’ residence and names
  • Witnesses’ and godparents’ names
  • Sometimes grandparents’ names

Marriage records

  • Candidates’ names
  • Marriage and/or proclamation dates
  • Often birth places
  • Residence
  • Witnesses
  • Former spouses
  • Parents’ names.

Death/burial records

  • Name of deceased
  • Burial date
  • Age and cause of death
  • Residence
  • Spouse’s name, especially for women
  • Parents’ names for deceased children

Confirmation records

  • Candidates name
  • Age
  • Residence
  • Father’s name

Church censuses & membership lists

  • Names of married couples
  • Their ages or birth dates and places
  • Sometimes marriage dates
  • Childrens’ names, ages or birth dates
  • Death or burial dates of children
  • Sometimes marriage dates and names of spouses of children are given

Other religious groups in Indonesia

  • Islam (Muslim immigrants and converts 11th-15th centuries)
  • Buddhist, Taoist, Confucian (Chinese have maintained a strong presence in Indonesia since the 16th century, but many more arrived in the 19th century).
  • Hindu (Strong influence in early centuries, declined with advance of Islam).