Pasundan Christian Church
(Gereja Kristen Pasundan, GKP)
When Batavia (now Jakarta) was founded in 1619 it already had a Protestant congregation. The evangelization of the Sundanese people in West Java, however, did not take place until the middle of the 19th century. This missionary work in one of Indonesia's strongest Muslim regions grew out of the witness and dedication of Christian lay people. It was not the result of organized efforts by western missionary societies. A Dutch judge started fruitful work in evangelization, with the help of Javanese and Sundanese evangelists whom he trained in his home. The mission spread to the wider area of Jakarta and Banten and Bogor. The Netherlands Missionary Society started work in the Priangan area which spread later to the whole of West Java. Several congregations were established after 1852. The Sundanese Protestant Church of West Java came into being in 1861.
From the beginning the work encountered strong Muslim refusal. Despite resistance, individual Muslims converted to Christianity. During the second world war relations with the Netherlands Missionary Society were totally cut off. Revival movements occurred in the church in the 1970s. New congregations were established in several parts of West Java, Jakarta and the province of Banten.
The structure of the church is presbyterian-synodal. Congregations are not fully autonomous. Each congregation is guided by its pastor and the elders and deacons who are appointed for five years. There are five districts, each grouping a number of congregations. The general assembly of the synod is held every five years. An executive committee is responsible for ongoing activities. Among the challenges the church is facing are ministerial training, lay education, informal education (an electronic course for drop-outs), preparation for in-depth dialogue with Islam, and inter-religious dialogue for women and youth.
The active cooperation of the GKP with Mission 21 is based on its historical relationship with the Basel Mission.