Spread across a chain of thousands of islands between Asia and Australia Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population.

Ethnically it is highly diverse with more than 300 local languages. The people range from rural hunter-gatherers to a modern urban elite.

Indonesia has seen great turmoil in recent years having faced the Asian financial crisis the fall of President Suharto after 32 years in office the first free elections since the 1960s the loss of East Timor independence demands from restive provinces bloody ethnic and religious conflict and a devastating tsunami.