In mid-June 2017, SETARA Institute published a report from the Series of Reports on Freedom of Religion/Belief titled “Conditions of the Constitutional Rights Fulfilment of the Adherents of Local Religions in God Almighty”. Adherents of Local Religions in God Almighty or also known as the adherents of Indonesian Local Religions are one of the SETARAInstitute’s focuses on the research area on Freedom of Religion/Belief.
Studies of the adherents of Local Religions in God Almighty are still the advocacy agendas of many parties. Th reason is partly due to the fact that although some progress has been made in terms of the fulfilment of their constitutional rights, in many cases, they are still experiencing discriminatory issues that can be categorized as violations of freedom.
Adherents of Local Religions in God Almighty are still regarded as though they are guests in their own country within the boundaries that can be categorized as human rights violations involving State actors (the State, adherents of mainstream religions, academics and media). Thre are still discriminatory policy products due to the overlapping government policies. On one hand, their existence and beliefs are guaranteed by the constitution. On the other hand, there are still government policies at the constitution level that are suspicious of their existence. Adherents of mainstream religions consider adherents of Local Religions as heretical or deviant from the principles of main religions. Moreover, according to the mainstream logic, religious agendas still occur. Even by the academics, adherents of Local Religions are stigmatized as adherents of animism and dynamism. Thy are called by degrading names, such as the uncivilized. According to many mainstream media, adherents of Local Religions in God Almighty
are considered as primitive people who become the objects of degrading spectacles.
Th pleasant news received by the adherents of Local Religions in God Almighty is that in the last ten years the central government, which was initiated by the Ministry of Home Affirs, the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, have issued a Joint Decree and various Ministers Circular Letters which substantially have acknowledged and provided various services and records of civil and other population rights. However, the religion column on the electronic Identifiation Cards (e-KTP) still has to be lef blank.
Marriage rights have been accommodated through the recognition of the leader of the adherents who is incorporated in the MLKI / Majelis Luhur Kepercayaan Indonesia (an organization which accommodates adherents of local religions and indigenous beliefs throughout Indonesia). Th leader legitimately signs and witnesses the marriages of the adherents of Local Religions. Similarly, signifiant progress has been made in terms of religious education rights of the adherents.
All the achievements mentioned above were mainly due to the hard work of the adherents of Local Religions in God Almighty who were incorporated in organizations as well as in MLKI, who were incorporated in organizations but were not incorporated in MLKI and who chose not to join in organizations or better known as individuals. Another factor was the strong support of civil society organizations who advocated them both in litigation and non-litigation matters. Ths report captures the maps of these achievements and shows some of the fidings which still need to be seriously and continuously addressed by the State.
SETARA Institute would like to thank all parties who both directly and indirectly involved in the preparation of this serial report. Especially to Sudarto and Halili who are the main researchers in the fild of freedom of religion/belief in SETARA Institute. SETARA Institute would also like to thank the Canadian Embassy for supporting this research.
Jakarta, June 2017