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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Java

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an island in the Malay archipelago, and, after Sumatra and Borneo, the largest in the Studa group, is the principal seat of the Dutch power in the East. The island is 630 miles long, by 35 to 120 miles broad, and has an area of 49,730 square miles. The population has very rapidly increased since the beginning of the 19th century. While in 1812 it amounted only to 4,500,000 inhabitants, it numbered in 1845 9,560,000 (of whom 106,033 were Chinese, 31,216 Arabs, 16,308 Europeans and their descendants, and 5111 slaves); in 1864, 13,649,680 (26,460 Europeans, and 156,390 Chinese); and in 1884, 20,931,654 (Europeans, 35,000; Chinese, 215,000). The natives belong to the Malay race, but to two different nations-the Javanese in the east, and the less numerous Suflidanese in the west. The Javanese are a peaceable, frugal, and industrious people, who have made greater progress in agriculture than any other people of Asia except the Chinese and Japanese. In 1327 Java was invaded by the Arabs, who subjugated the whole island, and established in it the Mohammedan religion and customs. Only in the remote mountains a few thousand worshippers of Buddha and Brahma remain. The ruins of many temples, images, and tombs prove, however, that at an early period Brahmanism struck deep root among the people. The Portuguese, who came to Java in 1579, as well as the English who arrived later, were expelled by the Dutch, who established themselves in Java in 1594, and steadily advanced in the conquest of the island until only two native states were left Soerakarta, or Solo, with 690,000 inhabitants, and Djodjkarta, with 340,000 inhabitants.

From 1811 to 1816 the island was under the rule of the British, who had conquered it, but in 1816 it was restored to the Dutch. In consequence of the bad administration a number of outbreaks took place, among which, in particular, that of Djepo Negoro, in 1825, was very dangerous, until at length the governors, Van der Capellen and Jan van den Busch, succeeded, by encouraging agriculture, and by other measures, in developing the productivity and prosperity of the island to a high degree. In accordance with a decree of Jan. 1, 1860, slavery was abolished in Java, as well as in all the Dutch colonies. During the rule of the Portuguese the Catholic missionaries formed some native congregations, of which only a few remnants are left at Batavia and Depok. The Dutch government was decidedly opposed to missionary labor, and-Protestant missions were not begun until the island passed, in 1811, under the rule of England. The first society in the field was the London Missionary (since 1813), which was soon followed by the English Baptists. But both societies confined their efforts chiefly to the Chinese and the Malays. Their missionaries were allowed to remain after the restoration of the Dutch administration, but they had to submit to many restrictions, until, in 1842, all non-Dutch missionaries in the Dutch colonies were forbidden to perform any missionary labors. Thus only the Rotterdam Missionary Society, which had begun its operations in Batavia and the neighborhood in 1820, was able to continue the missionary work. A new impulse was given to the labors of this society by-a journey' of visitation on the part of its inspector.

A mission station was established at Samarang, and a second very promising field opened in the province of Surabaya, with Modjo Warno as center, whence the mission extended to Kediri and Malang. The society, in 1886, supported in Java seven missionaries and seven native agents. In 1851 a society for home and foreign missions was formed at Batavia, with which the Dutch section of the Java Committee at Amsterdam associated itself. The society labored. in Batavia and the neighborhood, in particular among the Malays and Chinese, and took several brethren of the Society of Gossner into its service. In 1854 the Mennonite Missionary Society at Amsterdam (Doopgezinde Vereeniging) began its operations at Djapara, while the Nederland Zendings Vereeniging, which was established in 1858, opened missions among the Sundanese, to whom it has also undertaken to give a translation of the Bible. It employed in 1866 five missionaries, and had four stations. The Nederl. Gereformeerde Zendings Vereeniging has also established several missions (in 1866 three missionaries) in Java, and the Utrecht Missionary Society has begun missionary operations on the neighboring island of Bali, where Buddhism is still prevalent. The Dutch government continues to be anything but favorable to the missions, but patronizes the diffusion of education, and has recently established for that purpose a native normal school at Bandong. The Roman Catholic Church has a vicar apostolic in the city of Batavia. The government pays the salaries of eight priests. The Catholic population consists almost exclusively of Dutch soldiers and Indo-Portuguese. Newcomb, Cyclopedia of A Missions; Grundemann, fissions Atl Hts; Wetzer u. Welte, Kirchen-Lexikon, 12:569, 591. (A. J. S.)

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Java'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/j/java.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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