conversion by affiliation: the history of the Karo Batak Protestant Church



Theories of conversion have often stressed either psychological or sociological factors, but viewing conversion as the public declaration of a new identity and incorporating the element of time afford a way to synthesize these approaches. Although conversions to Christianity in the Karo Protestant Church, legacy of a Dutch Reformed mission, were often prompted by political or pragmatic considerations and reinforced an ethnic identity in contrast to a Muslim majority, religious life for many Karo has been transformed over the long run.