Wednesday, September 27, 2023 | 14:18 WIB

Buddhist village in remote part of Ponorogo


Jakarta, IO – One more uniqueness about religious harmony in Indonesia. The Sodong hamlet in Gelang Kulon village, Ponorogo regency is known for its majority Buddhist residents.

Dharma Dwipa Temple caretaker Kelvin Suwandi said in the beginning the villagers did not adhere to any religion. Then the ancestors came and introduced Buddhism, reported Detik, Wednesday (7/6).

“In the 1950s, Mbah Saimin introduced Buddhism to the villagers here,” said Kelvin.

The village is quite remote with difficult access. It is located on the on the border between Central and East Java.

According to Kelvin, the monastery in the village was first built in 1969. Currently there are 152 Buddhists living here.

“There are 62 households who adhere to Buddhism,” he said.

Kelvin said the number of Buddhists in his village was  small, one reason being in the 1980s many were married to Muslims and eventually converted.

Read: Faced With Energy Crisis Threat, Govt Urges The Use Of EBT

But he said there were also people of other faiths who married the villagers and converted to Buddhism. 

“Religion is personal matter so one should not be forced or intimidated to follow a certain faith. It should be up to the individual to freely choose which religion to follow,” Kelvin said. (un)


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