A Hindu country of the ancient Majapahit empire. The Muslim influence increased since 17th Century. It became free from the Dutch empire in 1946-47.
The President of Indonesia Mr. Soekarno, who called himself ‘secular’, did not recognise Hindu Dharma. He gave recognition only to Christianity and Islam. Identity Cards were issued to all citizens that also compulsorily identified interalia their religious persuasion. Due to this governmnent decision, crores of Hindus were forced overnight to become disinclined Muslims converted by a misconceived and unlawful official decree. They are Hindus by name, Hindus by Dharma, Hindus by practice, but were recorded as ‘Muslims’ in their Identity Cards as Hindu Dharma was not accorded official recognition. The Hindus fought for long, and then in 1964, Hindu Dharma got recognition.
Bali Islands remained Hindu majority. Excepting for Bali, however, openly practising Hindu Dharma became difficult in areas like East Java, Kalimantan (Borneo), Sulavesi, Sumatra, etc., where the number of Hindu population was considerable, though in minority. Nobody could raise any voice as Indonesia was under military dictatorship for 30 years.After the advent of democratic rule, the Hindus are feeling themselves free from restrictions. About 10 lakhs of the people that were arbitrarily declared Muslims by the Soekarno regime, have now re-designated themselves as Hindus. Now the Hindu population in Indonesia is about 80-90 lakhs. The un-redesignated Hindus account for over a crore. The population of tribal Hindus would be a few crores.
VHP organised an International Hindu Youth Conference in 2004 in Bali after the first Bali bombings. These days, Islamic fundamentalism has been speedily redoubling. Hindus are facing a crisis situation. The Islamic government of the country is making several laws in an effort to curtail the Dharmic rights of Hindus. The Hindus of Indonesia look up to Bharat for inspiration and organization. They ask for guidance and cooperation.