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Was 825 words Now 374/300 words Batak Churches.

More than ten Batak churches based in Batakland, Sumatra Island, Indonesia*, with an overall membership of more than six millions, now including congregations throughout Indonesia, some with non-Batak members. The German Rhenish Mission brought the gospel to the Batak peoples from 1861 until 1942, when the Batak churches claimed themselves as Lutheran and joined the Lutheran World Federation. Earlier several Batak churches separated from the German Mission, for nationalist and self-reliance reasons. Huria Kristen Indonesia became the first self-reliant church in Indonesia (1927). After 1942, due to religious and ethnic conflicts among sub-groups of the Batak people, other churches separated from Huria Kristen Batak Protestan church, the successor of the German Mission. As Lutheran, Batak churches regard preaching God’s Words as important to communicate God’s grace and will, and Baptism and Holy Communion as sacred tradition. In the daily life, Batak carefully live out their adat (customary law) because, they believe, there are supernatural sanctions against those who disregard the adat—the social and ceremonial system that regulates the rights and obligations among Batak relatives and social categories. The practice of adat is a potential source of tension for the churches, but it has never been totally rejected. Indeed, the German Mission used elements of the adat to spread the gospel. Batak Christians strongly hold to adat, even though they follow most openly those elements of adat that do not conflict with Christian faith. Other churches (including charismatic* churches) criticize Batak for living out the adat produced by Batak ancestors in the time of darkness. Church servants (men and women elders, pastors, and bishops) sometimes criticize absence from church services because one attends adat ceremonies. But members of Batak churches keep observing adat. Observance of adat is defended as respect for ancestors (parents, Exod 20:12; Deut 5:16) and the tradition they gave them for the goodness of life, Thus Batak churches live according to both the gospel and the adat. Similarly, during New Year’s Eve every family conducts a night service in which family members confess their weaknesses in the old year and ask forgiveness from one another—a moving ceremony through which Batak enter the New Year with purified heart, forgiveness from family members, and God’s blessing. BATARA SIHOMBING (see Indonesia*) BATAK CHURCHES. BATARA SIHOMBING Aritonang, Jan Sihar 1994 Mission Schools in Batakland. Leiden, Holland: Brill. Hutauruk, Jubel Raplan 2001 “Batak Churches.” In Scott W. Sunquist ed., A Dictionary of Asian Christianity. Michigan: Eerdmans. Pedersen, B. 1969 Batak Blood and Protestant Soul. Michigan: Eermands. Sihombing, Batara 2004 “Batak and Wealth: A Critical Study of Materialism in the Batak Churches in Indonesia.” Mission Studies 21: 9-38.

A. 1985 “Christian Obedience in the Context of Adat. P. Sovik. Sitompul and A.Sitompul. Adelbert A.” In A. Siantar: STT-HKBP.. Horas HKBP. eds. .