Indonesian Christian Church (HKI)

(Huria Kristen Indonesia, HKI)
The Indonesian Christian Church (HJI) was established in 1927, asserting its autonomy and self-government from the Rhineland Mission (Germany). At issue were the ordination of Batak ministers, the indigenous role in regional and local church affairs, and the Batak role in national identity. Soon after the proclamation in 1946 of Indonesian independence, the church changed its original name "Huria Kristen Batak" to "Huria Kristen Indonesia". The HKI adopted a synodal form of policy, headed by an ephorus. Since 1968 it has used the Nommensen University for the formation of pastors, teachers and others. The congregations are located mostly in Sumatra, where the language is Batak Toba, and Java. The majority of members live in rural areas. They are small farmers who raise cattle, water buffalo, pigs and chickens. Others live in towns and cities, including Jakarta, working as civil servants, policemen, soldiers, retailers, etc.

Since 1970, the church has had connections with the Lutheran Church in America. With expatriate assistance, it conducts a programme in theological education by extension in which the Gereja Kristen Protestan Simalungun, the Gereja Kristen Protestan Indonesia and other churches participate. In 1982 a theological education programme for teacher-preachers was started. Some newly trained church members will be sent as evangelists to the frontiers. A third programme is the family discussion group, undertaken in rural and urban places. The HKI is also involved in development projects. In 1976, an agricultural smallholders' rice-growing project was initiated with outside aid. As the invested money is repaid, the revolving fund will help launch new projects for more people.