Although six religions are officially recognized in Indonesia, there are hundreds of religions and beliefs in across the country. Some of these are local or mystical beliefs, but there are also other religious groups like Gafatar, Shia and Ahmadiyya Muslims. Intolerance towards these minority groups is on the rise.
According to research by Setara Institute, in 2016 there were 208 incidents or events where violations towards freedom of religion or belief with 270 violent actions. Compared to the previous year, that is an increase of 12 incidents and 28 actions. According to the research, an incident describes the occurrence of discrimination or persecution, while an action describes the nature of the discrimination. This explains why one event, can involve multiple actions, for example both blasphemy and intimidation.
Additional research conducted by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom in 2016, found that incidents of discrimination against religious minorities and attacks on religious properties continue to occur in Indonesia. These attacks and discriminatory actions are typically isolated incidents localized in certain provinces.
This research focusses on the experiences of the Ahmadiyya community in Indonesia. Just like other religious minority groups, the Ahmadis face discrimination, violence and exclusion. Although the Ahmadiyya community have lived in relative peace for most of the time, in the last two decades after the fall of the Suharto regime, they are increasingly under threat of attack by radical Islamic groups. Also, conservative Islamic groups are influencing national and local politics to implement further legal restrictions on Ahmadis.
This research was conducted across five areas to further understand the security situation for Ahmadiyya communities and how well they are protected. The research fills a large gap in existing evidence and quantitative data on the sources of discrimination, violence and exclusion experienced by Ahmadis in Indonesia, as well as the responses and the resilience of those communities that are negatively affected.