HomeNewsReligious intolerance on the rise in Indonesia, says report

Religious intolerance on the rise in Indonesia, says report

“The development of religious understanding grows distant from the love of Indonesia," said Alissa Wahid of the Gusdurian Network Indonesia

The trend of religious intolerance in Indonesia has reportedly increased from 46 percent to 54 percent in recent years, said a report on International Christian Concern quoting the Wahid Institute.

“The development of religious understanding grows distant from the love of Indonesia,” said Alissa Wahid, director of Gusdurian Network Indonesia, an organization that bases its foundation on tolerance and dialogues.

“There are those who feel that when I become more religious, I should not be adhering to Pancasila [the national ideology that promotes religious harmony],” Alissa was quoted as saying on TV Editorial.

She said intolerance is also caused by “decentralization,” adding that direct election of regional leaders resulted in regional governments and citizens to only see religion from a narrow majority point of view.

“There is something interesting. When there is a Muslim-majority area, then the people there refuse to allow a church to be built,” she said.

“On the other hand, there are also Christian-majority areas that refuse to grant the building permit to mosques …. The local government only sees it from the local perspective,” said Alissa.

She said intolerance is also mushrooming due to political interests that are wrapped up in religious matters, creating strong polarization and friction between religious communities.

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Last month, activists and religious leaders launched an online petition calling on the Indonesian government to protect religious freedom.

The petition, which was launched following the attack on an Ahmadi mosque in West Kalimantan province in August, called on President Joko Widodo “to protect freedom of religion and belief and freedom of worship.”

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