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Jakarta Post

Buddhism: Indonesia’s oldest religion is also the least understood

  • Devina Heriyanto
    Devina Heriyanto

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, May 17, 2019   /  03:15 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Bhikkhu (Buddhist monks) perform a walking meditation from Mendut Temple to Borobudur Temple in Magelang, Central Java, to celebrate Tri Suci Waisak or the Buddhist Day of Enlightenment last year.(Antara/Andreas Fitri Atmoko)

Earlier this year, the government quietly fixed a decades-old typo in its official documents. The Home Ministry issued on Feb. 6 a letter to announce that the correct spelling of Buddhism in Indonesian is "Buddha" and not "Budha" as is written on many identity cards (KTPs) of Indonesian Buddhists. This might seem like a small gesture. But it took years for the Buddhist community in Indonesia to get the government to fix the spelling. “I don’t know whether it was because of the complicated bureaucracy or because there are only a few Buddhists in this country, but it took years to fix the misspelling,” Council of Buddhist Communities (Walubi) vice chairman Jandi Mukianto told The Jakarta Post in March. Despite its status as the world's fourth-largest religion and Indonesia’s oldest religion, Buddhism currently counts as a minor relig...