CONDITIONS OF FREEDOM OF RELIGION/BELIEF IN INDONESIA IN 2018

Cover KBB 2018Preface

All praise and gratitude we pray to Allah SWT, the Almighty God, for His blessings and grace have made it possible for us to complete our research, write and publish the report under the title of “Combating Intolerance in the Political Year”. With His grace and blessings, the whole process went smoothly.

Dear readers….

Various forms of intolerant acts and attitudes should not be allowed to develop in countries that have a very high and rich diversity of community backgrounds, such as in Indonesia. This diversity also includes origin, language, ethnicity, race and religious identity. Not only does intolerance have negative effects on people’s relationships, but it can also transform into extreme ideas that can potentially manifest into extreme actions, better known as radicalism. Intolerance contradicts the national principles of Indonesia, such as the Pancasila (the five nationalist principles) and the 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia. It also damages human rights, especially in giving the guarantee of religious freedom by the state.

The spread of intolerance and various forms of radicalism can involve people from various groups with different status, economic means or origin. Based on media monitoring conducted by SETARA Institute, there were many cases where the State Civil Apparatus (Aparatus Sipil Negara / ASN) was both directly and indirectly involved in the practice of radicalism. The State Civil Apparatus should carry out its duties, functions and role as the unifier of nation and promoter of diversity tolerance in Indonesia. However, The State Civil Apparatus has actually harmed these principles and has not complied with the four pillars of nationality.

Therefore, through research conducted by SETARA Institute, it is important to continuously remind the public about the freedom of religion / belief as a constitutional right that must be guaranteed by the state and must be respected by everyone. In addition, the promotion of tolerance must consistently be prioritized as a basic attitude of respect for the freedom of religion / belief.

To our respected readers…

SETARA Institute conducted this research as an initiative to persistently report on, and competently answer the demands of, freedom of religion / belief. This is to ensure that freedom of religion / belief becomes the key variable in the grounding of Pancasila and the actualization of the national motto of Indonesia, Unity in Diversity (Bhineka Tunggal Ika). The results of this research can become useful base line data. These data are not only important for SETARA Institute in following up on policy advocacy, but it is also important for ministerial level state apparatus to build institutional, procedural and instrumental mechanisms in responding to actual situations that violate or restrict the right of freedom of religion / belief. In addition, this research is also important for all civil society activists to conduct programmatic interventions in mitigating, preventing and combating the spread of radicalism within government institutions.

For the completion of this research, SETARA Institute and I would like to express our highest gratitude to the following parties:

  1. SETARA Institute’s researchers who worked diligently and intelligently in this research program. Challenged by complex procedures, they worked very hard to conduct the methodical procedures strictly.
  2. Our activist friends and civil society organizations for their valuable interactions and input to strategically and precisely approach sensitive issues in this research.
  3. The parties which are impossible to mention one by one. Let it be known that without the contribution of their roles and assistance, this research will not be properly conducted.

Hopefully, the result of this research, which is now in the hands of the readers, provides new insights that contribute to the revision of the legal framework, the enforcement procedures and, ultimately, the capacity enhancement of the auditors and supervisory apparatus, to prevent and combat radicalism within government institutions.

Jakarta, 28th of September 2019
Setara Institute Chairperson,

Hendardi

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