PEOPLES' PROFILE

Java Banyumasan 

TheJawa Banyumasan are also known as the Jawa Mendhoan or Jawa Serayu. They live in the southwest province of Central Java. While the Jawa Banyumasan are a subgroup of the Jawa people, they have their own cultural variations that are distinct from other Jawa groups. The Jawa Banyumasa are famous for their Mendhoan Tempe; tempe dipped in spiced battered and fried. The name Serayu comes from the river that runs through most of the areas in which they live.
Jawa Banyumasan are mostly farmers and are quite advanced compared to their Indonesian counterparts due to their fertile land, expertise in the field, and modern equipment. The large majority of the Jawa Banymasan are Muslims, but according to Joshua project, roughly 80% are nominally or only culturally Muslim. Only about 20% of the population are strict followers of Islam.

Animistic beliefs from old religions are still apparent in the lives of the Jawa Banyumasan. They believe in spirits such as the bujungan, a shrouded ghost, shaped like a corpse in burial clothing, the jangkrong (a spirit shaped like a human skull, and the dhemit, a spirit that lives in the shrines. Some Banyumasan still seek guidance and help of shamans, they call dukun.

Prayer Points:

  • Pray that Jawa Banyumasan people will have the chance to hear a clear presentation of the gospel and that the Holy Spirit will stir in their hearts a desire for holiness.
  • Ask God to use believers to begin Bible studies and church planting among all Muslims in the Asia Pacific region.
  • Pray that Jawa Banyumasan Christians in this region will be protected from harm and persecution.
  • Pray for that the soil of ethnic religions be uprooted and prepared for the message of the gospel.

Visit the Wide Open website for more information about serving this region.