Original Research

Embracing the traces of the deity Opo Empung in Minahasa for culturative Christianity

Christar A. Rumbay, Johannis Siahaya
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 44, No 1 | a2739 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v44i1.2739 | © 2023 Christar A. Rumbay, Johannis Siahaya | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 September 2022 | Published: 05 May 2023

About the author(s)

Christar A. Rumbay, Sekolah Tinggi Teologi Pelita Bangsa, Jakarta, Indonesia
Johannis Siahaya, Sekolah Tinggi Agama Kristen Teruna Bhakti, Yogyakarta, Indonesia


The conversation about God has the potential to generate constructive discussion because it is the central theme of various religious traditions in Indonesia. The belief of the Minahasa community, one of the tribes in Indonesia, regarding the expression of the Opo Empung deity has become a matter of debate because it contains mystical values. But on the other hand, there have been attempts to integrate the understanding of the divine with Christianity, but they have not achieved satisfactory results. This study sought to find the deity value of Opo Empung with a constructive intercultural approach, which can be an object of dialogue and discussion for the Christian religion so as to offer respect, tolerance and peace. This study used a qualitative approach. The main sources that were used as references are library data, articles, books and other scientific references, combined with ethnographic data collection. The results showed that the expression of the deity Opo Empung offers an object of conversation for interaction with religion. It represents strong religious values. This cultural reality opens up opportunities for interactive conversations between Christianity and cultural beliefs in order to create a harmonious and peaceful life.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: Churches and Christians in Minahasa and Indonesia need to minimise conflicts with local culture. The church could be a light for the local culture to know God properly and a bridge to build religious tolerance and moderation. It should accept and befriend local culture considered by people as a religion for generations.


Opo Empung; deity; religion; Minahasa; culture.


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