Religion Past and Present

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Batak Churches
(672 words)

[German Version]

The Batak churches of northern Sumatra essentially go back to the initiative of the Rhenish Mission (United Evangelical Mission), which started working there in 1861. The first missionaries, J.H. Meerwaldt and especially I.L. Nommensen, strove to strip the traditional legal and moral system ( Adat ) of its religious elements, in order that it might be integrated into the church order as “civil law.” As a result, particularly strong bonds with the traditions of a small-scale society became the typical characteristic of the Ba…

Cite this page
Becker, Dieter, “Batak Churches”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 13 August 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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