Primary Language: Sundanese
Primary Religion: Sunni Islam
Progress of the Gospel: Engaged but Unreached
Overview: The Sunda of Indonesia, numbering 38,000,000, are Engaged yet Unreached. They are part of the Sunda-Betawi of Java people cluster within the Malay Peoples. This people group is only found in Indonesia. Their primary language is Sundanese. The primary religion practiced by the Sunda is Sunni Islam, the largest branch of Islam.
For many generations, the Sunda have lived in West Java. Traditionally, the Sunda have been farmers, both for their own needs and for commerce. Due to the fertility of the land, West Java is a great area for farming and plantations. This area has long been known as the "rice basket" of Indonesia. In addition to growing rice, there are also tea plantations, particularly in the mountainous areas. Many Sunda no longer work as farmers. Many hold influential positions in the government, while others have become competent business people. In Sunda society, there are three authorities with strong influence: (1)the Muslim religious leaders such as teachers, preachers, or worship leaders; (2) the local government officials such as the regent and the regent's staff; (3) the shamans with supernatural abilities and the martial arts teachers.
Almost all Sunda are Muslims. In many areas, Islam is mixed with Sunda traditional customs. The Sunda seek to protect their harmony with the natural world. They do this through traditional ceremonies for spiritual life and through group work for mutual assistance. In the legend of Lutung Kasarung, there is a belief that God incarnated himself in the world to protect humankind. This incarnation is called the dewata (gods and goddesses).
Statistical data on the inhabitants of West Java shows a high poverty rate. Because of this, the Sunda need help and guidance to raise their standard of living. This can be done by better development of human resources through education and training. There is also a need for agricultural investment and modernization. Another area needing improvement is the development of small to medium-sized businesses.
*Sources include joshuaproject.net and peoplegroups.org
- Pray for a movement of God among the Sunda people.
- Pray for God to soften the hearts of the Sundanese so they will be receptive to the gospel.
- Pray for God to strengthen, encourage, and protect the few Sundanese believers that exist.
- Pray for more workers to be sent to the Sundanese. Pray for God to open strategic doors into the Sundanese community and for the gospel to spread.
- Pray that God's glory would be known and his name worshiped among the Sunda people.