The number of Christians in Indonesia, a largely Muslim country, has increased by 1 percent, according to new research.
According to data from the Directorate General of the Department of Population and Civil Registration of the Ministry of Home Affairs and International Christian Concern, Indonesia now has 20.4 million Protestants and 8.42 million Catholics.
In total, both groups make up nearly 11 percent of the total population of about 272 million.
The 2010 census showed that 9.87 percent of the population was Christian at that time.
In comparison, the Muslim population in Indonesia is 236 million.
India’s Constitution is based on the Pancasila doctrine, which states the five core beliefs in one God, social justice, humanity, unity and democracy.
However, according to The Christian Post, there are some groups in the country that oppose Pancasila and churches sometimes face opposition from groups that try to obstruct the construction of non-Muslim houses of worship.
More than 1,000 churches in the archipelago have reportedly been forced to close because of pressure from opposing groups.
This year’s Easter service in Indonesia was guarded by heavy security after there was a suicide bombing outside a church just before Easter. The married couple had reported ties with a terror network, Jamaah Ansharut Daulah, and had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.
The JAD terrorist network has also been blamed for coordinated attacks on three other churches in May 2018. At least 13 people died in the attacks at Immaculate Saint Mary Catholic Church, Indonesia Christian Church and Surabaya Central Pentecost Church.
Worldwide, Indonesia is the country with the largest Muslim population. Pakistan is second on the list.
Also according to the Pew Research Center, from 1951 to 2011, the number of Hindus in the country grew to 966 million, Muslims to 172 million, Christians to 28 million, Sikhs to 20.8 million, Buddhists to 8.4 million, and Jains to 4.5 million.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Tinnakorn Jorruang
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.