Madurese people have been renowned for a long time as pious Muslims. They practice Islamic norms as social representation in maintaining and preserving cultural activities. Madurese Muslims recognize themselves as abhental syahadat, asapo' iman, apajhung Allah, asandhing Nabbhi (comforted by confession, covered by faith, pawned by God, and accompanied by the prophet), that is, altered from Madurese proverb abental ombe' asapo' angin salanjengah (always comforted by the ocean wave and covered by the wind). However, Madurese Muslims have also acknowledged the existence of other religions, such as Christianity and Buddhism. Religion, in the history of Madurese culture, was embedded within social custom and tradition. In today's Madura, Islam achieved bigger attention to construct, reconstruct, and influence the dynamics of Madurese tradition. The cultural linkage between Islam and local tradition could be presented in many social activities and rituals. This cultural attachment influences how Madurese look at social identity and group identification of others. This research attempts to scrutinize the history of Christianity in Madura, its presence and growth, and how Christian community interact with Muslim society. It will describe three Christian communities and their relation with Madurese culture. First is Madurese Christian living in Madura. This community is very small in number represented by Madurese individuals who embraced Christianity. The second is Madurese Christian living outside Madura. This research observes Madurese Christian community in Sumber Pakem Jember as an example to examine how the Christian community interact and engage within Muslim society, supported by in-depth interview with Madurese Individuals living in Surabaya and Tapal Kuda (the East Java Eastern Salient). The third is non-Madurese Christian living inside Madura, including Chinese, Javanese, and Moluccan. Each community reveals its own way to interact with Muslim society. By looking at the history of Christianity in Madura, which is somehow overlooked within history of Christianity in Indonesia, this research aims to elucidate how Christianity connects with Madurese society, what drives Madurese individuals to embrace Christianity, and how they reveal with religious worries and social perils. In this regard, this research highlights the role of economic accounts on preserving inter-religious relation as well as the efficacy of interpersonal interaction between Christian and Madurese Muslim. This thesis elaborates the theory of social identity, the concept of frontier and the theory of interactional ritual to analyze collected data and extort research findings.
Key Words: Madura, Islam, Christianity, identity, and social interaction.