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The Lintang of Indonesia

[IMAGE] The 76,500 Lintang are a sub-group of a larger cluster of peoples known as the Pasemah. The Lintang live mainly on the Pasemah Lebar highland plateau of Sumatra. However, some also live on the nearby islands, especially those between the eastern coast of Sumatra and the coast of Borneo.

The Pasemah probably originated in coastal Borneo and spread to Sumatra and the Pasemah Peninsula as a result of their trading and seafaring lifestyle. Their culture has been strongly influenced by other peoples, such as the Siamese, the Javanese, and the Sumatrans. Lintang communities first expanded along the Bukit Barisan Mountain Range. Their political center, Pagar Alam ("nature's fortress"), was designed to protect the Pasemah from their more aggressive neighbors, the Rejang. Today, the Indonesian government has designated the city of Lahat as the capital of the district. Large communities of Lintang are located westward to the city of Muaraenim.

What are their lives like?
Like the Pasemah, the Lintang are a rural people, living in villages of 50 to 1,000 people. Much of the country is covered by jungle, but the villages are located along the coasts, rivers, and roadways. Within their settlements, the Lintang build their houses on stilts raised four to eight feet off the ground.

Farming is the primary occupation of the Lintang, with about 80% of all employment being in agriculture. Rubber is the main cash crop, but coffee and rice are also grown. Wet-rice plots are worked by hoeing, or by plowing with oxen or water buffalo. Planting and harvesting are usually done by either hired work groups or by the extended family members. Farmers often use tractors in cultivating their crops. A farmer will usually set aside a portion of the proceeds from his harvests for several years, and then buy a tractor from the government.

Since most of the people make their living from farming, major ceremonies are usually held immediately following the harvest. These events include marriages, circumcisions, and hair cutting rituals. Every family in the village participates in such activities.

The diet of the Lintang consists mainly of rice, along with corn, yams, legumes, sweet potatoes, fish, bananas, peanuts, cassava, and durian (a fruit with a prickly rind and soft pulp). Chicken and goat are only eaten on special occasions. Water is plentiful since there is no real dry season in the region. However, water from the rivers and wells is often polluted; therefore, it is not fit for drinking without first being boiled.

Lintang families do not usually live together as extended families. Instead, each family tries to have its own separate home. Newlywed couples may temporarily live with their parents, but they prefer to have their own homes as soon as possible.

Women wear cotton sarongs (loose skirts made of long strips of cloth wrapped around the body) with long-sleeved cotton blouses. They also wear jackets, scarves, and skirts over their trousers; they do not wear veils. Men wear western-style cotton shirts and slacks.

What are their beliefs?
Though the influence of Hinduism from India has been great among the Lintang, today they are nearly all Sunni Muslims. A mosque serves as the formal religious center in each village, and most men attend Friday prayers at least some of the time. In rural areas, the Lintang have also preserved some of their animistic beliefs (belief that non-human objects have spirits). Traditional medications are widely used, and shamans (medicine men) are frequently consulted for physical, mental, and spiritual ailments.

What are their needs?
Because the Lintang live in rural areas, unemployment is high. As a result, many of the men are forced to temporarily, or even permanently, move to the cities in search of jobs.

Currently, there are no missions agencies working among this people group. Sadly, there are no Christian resources available in the Lintang language. Evangelistic tools and missionaries are needed to share the message of salvation with these precious people.

Prayer Points

  • Ask the Lord of the harvest to send missionaries to share the Gospel with the Lintang of Indonesia.
  • Pray for the translation of the Jesus film and other evangelistic material into the Lintang language.
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of the Lintang so that they will be receptive to the Gospel.
  • Pray that God will reveal Himself to the Lintang through dreams and visions.
  • Pray that God will protect the small number of Lintang believers and enable them to stand firm in their faith.
  • Take authority over the spiritual principalities and powers that are keeping the Lintang bound.
  • Ask God to raise up faithful intercessors who will stand in the gap for the Lintang.
  • Pray that strong local churches will be raised up among the Lintang.

Latest estimates from the World Evangelization Research Center.


  • People name: Lintang
  • Country: Indonesia
  • Their language: Lintang
  • Population: (1990) 70,800
    (1995) 76,500
    (2000) 82,300
  • Largest religion: Muslim (Sunni) 99.5%
  • Christians: <1%
  • Church members: 382
  • Scriptures in their own language: None
  • Jesus Film in their own language: None
  • Christian broadcasts in their own language: None
  • Mission agencies working among this people: 0
  • Persons who have heard the Gospel: 14,200 (19%) Those evangelized by local Christians: 4,200 (6%)
    Those evangelized from the outside: 10,000 (13%)
  • Persons who have never heard the Gospel: 62,300 (81%)
  • Country:Indonesia
  • Population: (1990) 182,811,600
    (1995) 197,587,700
    (2000) 212,730,600
  • Major peoples in size order: Javanese 26.2%
    Javanese Indonesian 10.7%
    Sudanese 10.6%
    Madurese 10.7%
    Sudanese Indonesian 3.1%
    Han Chinese 2.6%
  • Major religions: Muslims 43.7%
    New-Religionists 35%
    Christians 13%
    Ethnic religionists 2.6%
    Hindus 1.9%
    Nonreligious 1.9%
    Buddists 1%
  • Number of denominations: 113

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Bethany World Prayer Center

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