Religious Intolerance Increases in Indonesia Watchdog Says

Religious Intolerance Increases in Indonesia Watchdog Says

Democracy and human rights watchdog organization Setara Institute, recorded an increase in the violation of religious freedom. Based on the Institution’s observation, the number of province with cases of religious intolerance increased from 13 in 2012, to 20 in 2013.

“Violation happened in regions where there was no violation before,” Setara Institute Deputy Head Bonar Tigor Naipospos, said in Jakarta yesterday.

According to Bonar, intolerance spreads like virus. Various intolerant acts are imitated by groups that consider them as the right thing to do. He said that violation is oftern conducted in the name of religion. The government’s slow response was claimed as the cause of increasing cases of intolerance.

Bonar added that the Setara Institute also recorded increasing case of intolerance towards Shia followers. The eviction of Shia followers in Sampang, Madura, in August 2012 was said to be the cause of growing intolerance toward Shia.

Despite the increasing number of provinces with religious freedom violation case, Bonar explained that the number of religious-based cases is decreasing by 16 percent in 2013. However, he underlined that it does not mean that religious tolerance is improving.

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