Saturday, December 24, 2011

Colonialism and Christian Missions in Indonesian History (1)

Colonialism and Christian mission have a very close relationship. In Muslim countries, both are often assisted by orientalism so that it becomes a joint Western movement to confront Islam. Historical facts also show that the colonialism movement is always accompanied by Christian missionary and orientalist activities [1]. Many scholars, both Muslim and Western, acknowledge that.

Among Muslims such as Muhammad Al-Ghazali [2], Musthafa Khalidi, Umar Farukh [3], Abdurrahman Habanakah Al-Maidani [4], Anwar Al-Jundi [5], Muhammad Natsir [6], and H.M. Rasyidi [7]. As for Western scholars, among others, Robert Delavignette [8], Stephen Neill [9], Katie Geneva Cannon [10], Livingstone M. Huff [11], Horst Gründer [12], and Edward W. Said [13].

Like other Muslim countries that were once colonized by Western nations, Indonesia has historical experience regarding the close relationship between colonialism and the Christian mission. History shows that Christianization is an integral part of the expansion of colonialism. Christianity came and spread along with the arrival and spread of Western colonialism. Both Portuguese and Dutch came with Christian missions. In the Encyclopædie from the Dutch East Indies disebutkan,

"Regarding his attitude towards religious affairs in the archipelago (Nusantara), the Dutch were based on the same example of the Portuguese, wherever they lived and found Christian natives, their condition was not wasted, and in spite of the fact that no Christian natives, he tried to spread Christianity among them. " [14]

However, some Christian scholars deny the existence of a mutually beneficial relationship between colonialism and the Christian mission. W.B. Sidjabat, for example, tried to evade that Dutch colonial power helped contribute to the spread of Christianity in Indonesia. According to him, the missionaries had nothing to do with the colonial ambitions of the world. The spread of Christianity is caused more by the power of the Bible and not primarily due to the efforts of Christians. [15] Other Christian scholars who reject the above assumptions are Chris Hartono and Adolf Heuken SJ.

According to Chris Hartono, the statement that the spread of colonization and the progress of zending works together are a container of Western expansion is not true, at least not appropriate, because between them there are essential differences. [16] Meanwhile, Adolf Heuken SJ stated that not always did the colonial government provide assistance and protection to Christian missions. According to him, the colonial government also often hampered efforts to spread Christianity until 1942. Furthermore, he said, "The accusation that the mission was spoiled by the colonial government was a slander that was never accompanied by data (which did not exist)." [17]

The arrival of the West and the spread of Christianity
Some Christian scholars argue that preaching the gospel to several places in Indonesia has begun in the Patristic era, in the period before the arrival of Islam. It is suspected that Nestorian Christians from Egypt and Persia stopped at several places in Indonesia on their way to China in the fifth century.

This event occurred in the days leading up to the emergence of the Kingdom of Srivijaya. [18] However, the fate of Christianity for a long period of time was not very clear after this period and did not leave a mark. There is no historical data that can explain the development of Nestorian Christianity.
It was only at the beginning of the sixteenth century that Christianity began to develop and spread with the arrival of Western nations to Indonesia. At that time, Spain and Portugal pioneered the Europeans in shipping expeditions around the world. The Spaniards sailed westward, while the Portuguese sailed eastward until they arrived in Indonesia. Portuguese and Spanish expansion gained the blessing of Pope Alexander VI.

On May 4, 1493, he divided the new world between Portuguese and Spanish. One of the conditions is that the king or the state must advance the Roman Catholic mission in the areas that have been handed over to them. [19] Pope Alexander VI also taught that nations outside the Vatican Church which were not Catholic, were regarded as savages. The country or region is assessed as terra nullius (empty area without owner). [20]
The spirit of the Crusades strongly encouraged Portuguese expansion. They view all adherents of Islam as Moors and enemies who must be fought. [21] Therefore when Alfonso d'Albuquerque succeeded in occupying Malacca in 1511, he made a speech,

"The great task that we must devote to our Lord in driving out the Moors from this country and extinguishing the fire of the Sect of Muhammad so that he will not reappear after this ... I am sure, if we succeed in capturing the Malacca trade route from their hands (people Moors, Cairo and Mecca will be completely destroyed and Venice will not accept spices unless the merchants go and buy it in Portuguese. " [22]

The Portuguese came to Malacca, then to the archipelago, bringing missionaries. The spread of Catholic Christianity is their main goal, not just casual work. In every area conquered by the Portuguese, the Catholic mission immediately entered and converted the population by force and did not know religious tolerance.
Portuguese missionaries ignored the Islamist religion of the people in Maluku. The Portuguese complained of a population of Christians who had successfully christened for hostility with Muslims. They were even used as weapons to combat the Muslims, as was the case with the Hatiwe people who used their power to combat Hitu. Portuguese aggression with its Christianization has forced those who are unwilling to leave Islam to flee escape from their hometown, seeking a safe place from Portuguese desires.

The spread of Catholic Christianity by Portuguese missionaries in Islamic territories is sometimes carried out on Friday at the time of prayer. At that time all men were in the mosque, while women and children were at home. Those who could escape the Portuguese siege were forced to flee their families. This kind of event happened in Islamic regions on the island of Ambon, such as Negeri Lama (Pasolama), Suli, Wai and others. [23]
The most successful Portuguese missionary in spreading Catholic Christianity in Maluku was Franciscus Xaverius. He arrived in Ambon in February 1546. After three months of working there, he visited Ternate, Halmahera and Morotai, then returned to Ternate and Ambon for a while, then returned to Malacca. During 15 months working in Maluku, Xaverius managed to baptize thousands of people. [24] Xaverius once wrote, "If only a dozen pastors come here from Europe every year, the Islamic movement will not last long and all residents of this island will become followers of Christianity." [25]. (Bersambung)

By, Muhammad Isa Anshary

(Research Center for Islamic Studies and Civilization)

1. Hamid Fahmy Zarkasyi, Liberalization of Islamic Thought; The Joint Movement of Missionaries, Orientalists and Colonialists, (Ponorogo: Center for Islamic and Occidental Studies (CIOS) Institut Studi Islam Darussalam, 2008), hlm. 44–45.
2. Look at Muhammad Al-Ghazali, Al-Isti'mâr; Ahqâd wa Athmâ ', (Alexandria: Syirkah Nahdhah, 2005). Menurut Al-Ghazali, kolonialisme mempunyai dendam agama dan ambisi duniawi. Oleh karena itu, pemerintah kolonial tidak hanya mengeksploitasi sumber daya alam negeri-negeri Muslim yang menjadi daerah koloni mereka, namun juga menyebarkan agama Kristen untuk menghadapi dan merusak Islam.
3. Look Mushtafa Khalidi dan Umar Farukh, At-Tabsyîr wa Al-Isti'mâr fi Al-Bilâd Al-'Arabiyah, (Beirut: Mansyurat Al-Maktabah Al-'Ashriyah, 1986). Menurut kedua penulis ini, misi Kristen menjadi faktor penting dalam menghancurkan persatuan Islam. Sebab, misi Kristen berusaha menggambarkan orang-orang Eropa sebagai pembawa pencerahan baru dan bukan dalam bentuk sebagai penjajah. Apabila mereka berhasil melakukannya, maka hal ini akan mengendurkan dan memecah belah perlawanan umat Islam. (hlm. 37)
4. See Abdurrahman Habanakah Al-Maidani, Ajnihah Al-Makr Ats-Tsalâtsah, (Damaskus: Dar Al-Qalam, 2000). Dalam buku ini, penulisnya memaparkan bahwa misi Kristen, orientalisme, dan kolonialisme adalah gerakan bersama untuk menghancurkan Islam. Ketiganya bertemu dalam tujuan dan proyek bersama. Titik pertemuan itu antara lain adalah dalam kebencian dan dendam terhadap kaum Muslim, eksploitasi ekonomi, memerangi Islam dan upaya penerapannya, serta upaya memisahkan antara Islam dan pemeluknya. (hlm. 187–206)
5. View Anwar Al-Jundi, Al-'Alam al-Islami and Al-Isti'mâr As-Siyasī wa al-Ijtima and Ats-Tsaqafī, (Beirut: Dâr Al-Kutub Al-Lubnânî, 1983). Menurutnya, pemerintah kolonial yang mencengkeram negeri-negeri Islam menekankan pada dua aktivitas mendasar.
First, trying to build public opinion that what is done by colonial is an activity related to the mission of civilization and humanity that aims to advance humanity. They assume that white people are the owners of civilizations that are responsible for the progress of the colored civilization of people.
Second, changing Islamic intellect from its basic concept and arousing ambiguity around the elements of Islamic thought. This was done as a beginning to associate it with Western thought which was assumed to be dominant universal thought. In this way, Muslims will lose their principle values, then accept the values ​​of Western civilization and submit like a tame horse in their hands.
To carry out these two things, the colonial government sent missionaries who had a big role in creating people who accepted and defended Western thought. They are not hostile to colonialism, but instead support and respect it. Therefore, the colonial government helped schools, hospitals and organizations established by missionaries. (pp. 415-416)
6. See Muhammad Natsir, Islam and Christianity in Indonesia, (Bandung: Diponegoro, 1969). Buku ini berisi tulisan-tulisan Natsir yang mengkritik kebijakan pemerintah Hindia Belanda yang cenderung memberi bantuan dan perlindungan kepada misi Kristen.
8. See Robert Delavignette, Christianity and Colonialism. Menurutnya, ada beberapa posisi agama Kristen dalam kolonisasi. Antara lain melakukan evangelisasi atau Kristenisasi dan pengajaran gereja
9. See Stephen Neill, Colonialism and Christian Missions, (London: Lutterworth Press, 1966). Neill menyatakan bahwa kolonialisme cenderung ditafsirkan dalam istilah serangan. Serangan itu meliputi bidang politik, ekonomi, sosial, pemikiran, dan bentuk serangan yang paling berbahaya adalah serangan misi Kristen. (hlm. 12)
10. See Katie Geneva Cannon, "Christian Imperialism and The Transatlantic Slave Trade", dalam Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, Volume 24, Number 1 (2008), hlm. 127–134.
11. See Livingstone M. Huff, "The Crusader and Colonial Imperialism: Some Historical Considerations Concerning Christian-Muslim Interaction and Dialogue", dalam Missiology; An International Review, Volume 32, Number 2 (April 2004), hlm. 141–148. Dalam artikel ini, Huff menyatakan bahwa imperialisme kolonial yang dilakukan oleh negara-negara Barat adalah salah satu aspek sejarah yang mempengaruhi dan membentuk kesalahpahaman antara orang Muslim dan orang Kristen.
12. Lihat Horst founder, "Christian Mission and Colonial Expansion-Historical and Structural Connections", dalam Mission Studies, Volume 12, Number 1 (1995), hlm. 18–20.
13. Lihat Edward W. Said, Orientalisme, (Bandung: Pustaka, 2001), hlm. 131–132. Menurut Said, mengkolonisasi pada mulanya berarti identifikasi –bahkan penciptaan— kepentingan-kepentingan, yang bisa bersifat komersial, komunikasi, agama, militer ataupun budaya. Umpamanya, berkenaan dengan Islam dan kawasan-kawasan Islam, Inggris sebagai kekuatan Kristen merasa memiliki kepentingan-kepentingan legitimatis yang harus dilindungi. Beberapa organisasi misi berkembang untuk melindungi kepentingan-kepentingan tersebut. Misalnya: Baptist Missionary Society (1792), Church Missionary Society (1799), British and Foreign Bible Society (1804), dan London Society for Promoting Christianity Among the Jews (1808). Misi-misi ini terang-terangan ikut serta dalam ekspansi Eropa.
14. Joh. F. Snelleman, Encyclopædie from the Dutch East Indies, Jilid IV (Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff, 1905), hlm. 829.
15. W.B. Sidjabat, Our Call in Indonesia Today, (Jakarta: Badan Penerbit Kristen, 1964), hlm. 24.
16. Chris Hartono, "Presence of Zending in the Dutch Colonial Age; A Historical-Theological Review", dalam F.W. Raintung (ed), Year of Grace and Independence; Contemplation of Fifty Years of Republic of Indonesia Travel, (Surakarta: Yayasan Bimbingan Kesejahteraan Sosial, 1995), hlm. 21.
17. Adolf Heuken SJ, Church Encyclopedia, Jilid 5, (Jakarta: Yayasan Cipta Loka Caraka, 2005), hlm. 10.
18. W.B. Sidjabat, Our Call, hlm. 16-17. Lihat juga Th. van den End, Ragi Carita 1; Church History in Indonesia 1500-1860, (Jakarta: BPK Gunung Mulia, 2007), hlm. 19–20.
19. H. Berkhof, History of Geredja, Jilid II, (Jakarta: Badan Penerbit Kristen, 1952), hlm. 86. Lihat juga Jan S. Aritonang, Sejarah Perjumpaan Kristen dan Islam di Indonesia, (Jakarta: BPK Gunung Mulia, 2006), hlm. 20–21.
20. Ahmad Mansur Suryanegara, History of Fire, Jilid I, (Bandung: Salamadani, 2009), hlm. 158.
21. Bernard H. M. Vlekke, Archipelago; Indonesian History, (Jakarta: Kepustakaan Populer Gramedia, 2008), hlm. 97.
22. Adian Husaini, The face of Western Civilization; From Christian hegemony to secular-liberal domination, (Jakarta: Gema Insani Press, 2005), hlm. 372.
23. Maryam RL Lestaluhu, History of Islamic Resistance Against Imperialism in Maluku District, (Bandung: Al-Ma'arif, 1988), hlm. 40–42.
24.H. Berkhof, History of Geredja, Jilid II, hlm. 86.
25. Alwi Shihab, Stopping Current; Response of the Muhammadiyah Movement to the Penetration of Christian Missions in Indonesia, (Bandung: Mizan, 1998), hlm. 31.

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