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Jakarta Post

'In the Name of Belief': Indonesia embraces indigenous religious education

  • Ardila Syakriah
    Ardila Syakriah

    The Jakarta Post

PREMIUM
Jakarta   /   Thu, December 5, 2019   /  10:44 am
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A follower of the Marapu indigenous faith of Sumba, East Nusa Tenggara, appears in 'Atas Nama Percaya' (In the name of faith). The 2019 documentary, which premiered in Jakarta on Nov. 30, traces the history of religious restrictions in Indonesia.(Atas Nama Percaya/Indonesian Pluralities)

"In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen." This was the phrase that Retno Lastani uttered as she made the sign of the cross decades ago, when she had taken Catholicism as a school subject. What she had never uttered, especially in front of her friends, was the fact that she was not Catholic. Retno is a follower of Kapribaden, an indigenous faith and one of the 188 indigenous registered faiths in Indonesia, although experts say the real figure is larger. It was her biggest secret, and she was afraid it would drive her friends away if they knew this about her. "I had to choose a religion at school, while at home I followed [my] indigenous faith. I felt alone, as my friends didn't know that I followed an indigenous faith, so I had this unsettling feeling in my heart and I didn't know who I really wa...