AJI OF INDONESIA
Information about Indonesia
Area: 1,919,317 sq km
The Republic’s 17,500 islands (6,000 inhabited) stretch over 9.5 million sq km of the Indian/Pacific Oceans, with 33 provinces, 5 of which have special status. Includes the world’s second-largest rain forest and vast coral reefs.
Population: 232,516,771 Annual Growth: 1.19%
Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia). Its increasing use is unifying the nation and lessening the importance of smaller languages to the younger generation Languages: 722
Islam: 186,734,219 or 80.31% of the population
Evangelical Christians: 13,010,751 or 5.6% of the population
A vision for the evangelization of Indonesia grows even as the opposition increases, joining ecumenical, Pentecostal and evangelical Protestants in a common vision. Nearly 100 million people can be regarded as unevangelized. From 1996 onward, national and regional consultations have focused on unreached Indonesian peoples. Excellent research by the Indonesian Peoples’ Network continues, and Indonesian ministries placing workers among these peoples have significantly increased. Pray for the attainment of these visions:
a) A viable witnessing church for every people group in the country. In Indonesia, there are 128 people groups larger than 10,000 people with a Christian population of under 1% – these account for 60% of the country’s population. About 30 of these have no known believers or full-time workers. Another 200 or more unreached people groups have less than 10,000 people. Pray that the Indonesian Church may take the lead as expatriate workers partner with them.
b) A church in every village. The vision of many is to see at least one church planted in each of Indonesia’s 76,000 villages within one generation. Over 45,000 villages still lack a single church.
c) A unified Indonesian prayer movement with a prayer group in every neighbourhood, linked into prayer networks in every city and province. This is quickly becoming a reality as God blesses the burgeoning national prayer network, formed in 1990 and now spread to over 450 cities.
The Aji of Indonesia
Introduction / History
The Aji are a small community who live in a mountainous area of South Sumatra. They are often called the Haji people because according to a folktale they are descendants of a “Haji” (a person who has completed the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca). The Aji live in 14 villages. Eleven of the villages are clustered together in the Muara Dua District of southern Ogan Komering Ulu Regency (OKU): Sukarami, Tanjung Raya, Kuripan, Peninggiran, Surabaya, Sukarena, Karang Pendeta, Kota Agung, Pulau Panggung, Pirikan, Telanay and Sukabumi. In addition, there are three Aji villages located outside of the Muara Dua District cluster: Lubar Village in the Simpang District of southern OKU, Rantau Panjang Village in another area of Muara Dua and Palas Haji Village in the Palas District of southern Lampung Regency.
What are their lives like?
In the time of the Majapahit Kingdom, the Aji were ruled by a duke from Majapahit who lived in Saka Aji (Tanjung Raya Village). They did not want to be colonized by the Netherlands and formed an army. Now, social stratification is still based on the stratification of the Aji Army, which is hierarchical. The Aji social stratifications are: Ratu (King), Panglima (Commander), Kerio Perang (Troops) and ordinary people. There are traditional institutions that handle social issues such as sanctions and penalties for those who violate the local law. The judicial and legal system governed by this local customary law is called “Sumber Karta 12”. The Aji live in mixed communities with the Daya and Komering people. The Aji have a very small population, quite different from the larger neighboring people groups such as the Ogan, Daya and Komering. According to a local folktale, the Aji language was created from twelve different languages. According to the tale, in the days of their ancestors, when it came time to distribute the languages, the ancestor of the Aji people group arrived late because he overslept. In the end he was forced to ask for a just a little bit of language from each of twelve other people groups, which combined to become the Aji language. The Aji language differs from that of other surrounding people groups such as the Ogan, Komering, Daya and Ranau and cannot be understood by them. However, the Aji are able to speak almost all the languages of South Sumatra. They are very proud of this fact, which they often bring up when they speak to outsiders. However, from a linguistic point of view, the Aji language is most closely related to Malay, with heavy borrowing from Daya. The Aji people make a living by growing two crops: coffee and rubber. Coffee as a commodity represents the primary source of income for the flatland areas of South Sumatra including the Aji homeland. However, almost all Aji young people move out of the area searching for jobs in other areas. Most of them go to Java, with Jakarta as the most frequent destination. Aji people also raise small livestock as a source of income. Most Aji families own goats or chickens as household pets.
What are their beliefs?
The Aji people are Muslims and a mosque can be found in each of their villages. The Aji maintain good relationships with people of other religions and no religious disturbances have been reported in their area. However, they still practice cultic worship of objects that were passed down to them by their ancestors, including war relics.
What are their needs?
Small business management and home industry training could help reduce poverty in Aji areas and bring work opportunities to young Aji people. Today, almost all Aji young people leave the Aji area in search of work.
Scripture of the Day
“And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” – Matthew 24:14
Revel in this promise and pray for this nation and this people group today. May God be glorified through the awakening of their hearts.
By His Grace – For His Glory – For our Joy