Indonesia is constitutionally a secular state and the first principle of Indonesia's philosophical foundation, Pancasila, is "belief in the one and only God".A number of different religions are practised in the country, and their collective influence on the country's political, economic and cultural life is significant.
However, these aspects have changed since some modifications have been made to suit the Indonesian culture.The world's largest Buddhist monument, Borobudur, was built by the Kingdom of Sailendra and around the same time, the Hindu monument Prambanan was also built.The peak of Hindu-Javanese civilisation was the Majapahit Empire in the fourteenth century, described as a golden age in Indonesian history.Coming from Gujarat, India, Islam spread through the west coast of Sumatra and then developed to the east in Java.This period also saw kingdoms established but this time with Muslim influence, namely Demak, Pajang, Mataram and Banten.Prior to the arrival of the Abrahamic faiths of Islam, Christianity and Judaism, the popular belief systems in the region were thoroughly influenced by Dharmic religious philosophy through Hinduism and Buddhism.
These religions were brought to Indonesia around the 2nd and 4th centuries, respectively, when Indian traders arrived on the islands of Sumatra, Java and Sulawesi, bringing their religion.
Hinduism of Shaivite traditions started to develop in Java in the fifth century AD.
The traders also established Buddhism in Indonesia which developed further in the following century and a number of Hindu and Buddhist influenced kingdoms were established, such as Kutai, Srivijaya, Majapahit, and Sailendra.
By the end of the fifteenth century, 20 Islam-based kingdoms had been established, reflecting the domination of Islam in Indonesia.
Protestantism was first introduced by the Dutch in the sixteenth century with Calvinist and Lutheran influences.
Animist areas in eastern Indonesia, on the other hand, were the main focus Dutch conversion efforts, including Maluku, North Sulawesi, Nusa Tenggara, Papua and Kalimantan.