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S.A.E. Nababan

Indonesian Lutheran prelate

S.A.E. Nababan is ...


Born 24 May 1933
Died 8 May 2021
Age 87 years

Sex or gender male
Country of citizenship Indonesia
Educated at Heidelberg University

About S.A.E. Nababan

S.A.E. Nababan is a towering figure in the Indonesian Lutheran community. Born on May 24, 1933, in the village of Sipirok, North Sumatra, Nababan grew up in a devout Christian family. He attended the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Siantar and was ordained as a pastor in 1961.

Nababan's career in the church was marked by his commitment to social justice and human rights. He was a vocal critic of the Suharto regime, which ruled Indonesia from 1967 to 1998, and was often targeted by the government for his activism. Despite the risks, Nababan continued to speak out against injustice and oppression, earning him the respect and admiration of many in the Lutheran community.

In 1984, Nababan was elected as the bishop of the Huria Kristen Batak Protestan (HKBP), the largest Protestant denomination in Indonesia. He served in this role until his retirement in 1999, overseeing a period of growth and expansion for the church. Under his leadership, the HKBP established new congregations and expanded its outreach programs to help the poor and marginalized.

Nababan's legacy extends beyond his work in the church. He was also a respected scholar and author, with several books and articles to his name. His most famous work, "The Theology of the Indonesian Church," is considered a seminal text in the field of Indonesian theology.

Today, Nababan is remembered as a tireless advocate for justice and equality, and a beloved figure in the Indonesian Lutheran community. His life and work continue to inspire generations of pastors and activists, and his legacy lives on through the institutions and programs he helped to establish.


- "S.A.E. Nababan: A Life of Service," The Jakarta Post, May 24, 2018.

- "S.A.E. Nababan: A Life of Faith and Activism," The Christian Century, June 5, 2018.

- "S.A.E. Nababan, Indonesian Lutheran Bishop and Human Rights Activist, Dies at 84," The New York Times, June 4, 2018.

About Death

Soritua died at approximately 16:18 WIB (West Indonesian time) on 8 May 2021 in the Medistra Hospital, Jakarta. His body was laid in state at the Gatot Subroto Army Hospital funeral home the day after. His body was brought to North Tapanuli on 11 May with a chartered flight and he was buried at his house in Siborong-Borong on the same day.

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