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Jakarta Post

Freedom of religion suffers in persistently divided nation

  • Ivany Atina Arbi
    Ivany Atina Arbi

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, December 17, 2019   /  08:59 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
The congregations of the GKI Yasmin church and HKBP Filadelfia hold their Christmas service in front of Merdeka Palace, Jakarta, on Christmas Day in this file photo.(JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

Violations of religious freedom persist in Indonesia despite stipulations in Article 29 of the 1945 Constitution that guarantee the freedom to worship according to one’s own beliefs. Imparsial, a human rights watchdog, recorded at least 31 violations of the freedom of religion and worship (KBB) in the country last year. Most dominant were the dispersal of religious activities and the prohibition of the construction of houses of worship. The majority of the victims were of minority religious groups, which, in Indonesia, consist of adherents to any religion except Islam. Muslims account for about 87 percent of the country’s 264 million people. The minorities include Protestants, Catholics, Hindus, Buddhists, Confucians and hundreds of indigenous faiths such as Sundanese Wiwitan and Javanese Kejawen. Other citizens decline to identify their beliefs or lack religious sen...