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Jakarta Post

Walking the talk on freedom of religion or belief

  • Endy M. Bayuni

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, December 28, 2020   /  08:47 pm
Walking the talk on freedom of religion or belief Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas gives a speech during a visit to GPIB Immanuel Protestant Church in Semarang, Central Java on Thursday, Dec. 24, 2020. In the visit, the newly appointed minister said that he will be a minister for all religion in Indonesia. (Antara /Aji Styawan)

The State guarantees freedom for all citizens to embrace and worship religion or belief – 1945 Constitution, Article 29 (ii) The new religious affairs minister has rekindled hopes among minority religious communities in Indonesia who have lived in constant fears of persecutions these last two decades, often with little or no protection from the government. A day after his inauguration last week, Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas promised he would protect religious minorities, singling out followers of Ahmadiyah and Shiism who have been forced out of their homes. He talked about introducing an affirmative action policy to allow them to return home. A day later, however, Yaqut appeared to be walking back from this statement after he was widely criticized by conservative Muslim leaders. He clarified that he would protect all citizens of all religions, and that there would be no sp...