News and photos from the 2009 Padang Earthquake.


7-Day Prayer Guide

Minangkabau of Indonesia

Population: 7 - 8 million
Primary Location: West Sumatra, Indonesia
Languages: Minang, Bahasa Indonesia

Who are the Minangkabau?

The Minangkabau are the fourth largest ethnic group in Indonesia and the largest people group on the island of Sumatra. About 4.5 million live in the Minang homeland of West Sumatra. Millions more live throughout the country, especially in large cities such as Jakarta, Bandung and Pekanbaru.


In the Minangkabau homeland, agriculture is the main industry. Minang people are also well known for their business and trading ability and there are few places in Indonesia without some Minang presence. Perhaps most well known are traditional Minang restaurants, where rendang, beef cooked in coconut milk, is a popular choice.


Minang houses, with distinctive pointed roofs, are known throughout Southeast Asia. The Minangkabau are even more famous for the matrilineal structure of their society. Women play a significant role both in the family and in the community, something that many visitors find surprising in a culture strongly influenced by Islam.


The Minang are one of the most dedicated Muslim people groups in Indonesia. They faithfully practice the five pillars of Islam and many have made the pilgrimage to Mecca. Some Minang, afraid of Western secularising influences, are trying to encourage stricter codes of dress, behaviour and belief among the Minang. More and more women wear headscarves and an ability to recite the Qur'an in Arabic is a precondition for many jobs and educational opportunities.

Prayer Points

  • Pray for God to open the hearts and minds of the Minang to the Good News of God's grace and mercy.

  • Pray for the few Minangkabau followers of Jesus to be united and faithful witnesses among their people group.

  • Pray for God to touch the hearts of believers from other Indonesian ethnic groups to reach out to their Minang neighbours and friends.

  • Pray for followers of Jesus serving among the Minangkabau that they may be faithful to share the Good News and to support each other. Pray for more followers of Jesus to join them.

  • Pray that the seeds now being sown will one day lead to the growth of indigenous fellowships of Jesus-followers among this people group.

Read the full profile

Minangkabau of Indonesia

Learn more about the Minangkabau

(External links)

Minang Travel Blog
Minang Martial Arts
Moon's Minang Profile
Women's Role in Minang Society
Minang Language
BBC commentary (accessible outside the United Kingdom)