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Catholic Converts In The Moluccas, Minahasa And Sangihe-Talaud, 1512–1680

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Chapter Summary

The Moluccas comprise several groups of islands in eastern Indonesia, but especially the so-called Spice Islands. The Moluccas have a very mixed population, which belongs to different language families. The people of northern Halmahera, of Ternate and Tidore seem to belong to the Papuan language group. After the Portuguese had surrendered their forts on Ambon and Tidore (1605) and the Spanish abandoned their fort on Ternate (1666), the Catholics in the Moluccas had lost all protection against the VOC and its Muslim allies. The Sangihe and Talaud Archipelagos form a natural bridge to the islands of the Philippines. In 1563 Sultan Hairun prepared a fleet to send his son Baabullah to northern Sulawesi in order to strengthen his influence there and to spread Islam. Two Franciscan priests built a church in Buhol on the north coast of Minahasa, but their visit was very short.

Keywords: Catholics; eastern Indonesia; Halmahera; Minahasa; Moluccas; Portuguese; Sangihe; Talaud; Ternate; Tidore



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