Indonesia: A Rise in Religious Freedom in the Most Populous Muslim Country

Source: International Christian Concern, January 24, 2024

Religion is a vital part of a person’s identity in Indonesia. On each citizen’s official National Identity Card, people can identify with one of the six religions recognized in the Constitution—Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism.

A seventh religious category—kepercayaan (belief)—was introduced for identity cards in 2016. But since then, there have been legal and religious challenges to this change, including the Indonesian Ulama Council (an influential national Muslim organization) that opposed this new category.

Indonesia has strict anti-Islam blasphemy laws. Yet Indonesians who are part of minor religions may now openly include their religion in this seventh new category. Government figures show that nearly 140,000 Indonesians have used this new kepercayaan category since its start.

Read the full story or read A Step for Freedom of Religion and Belief in Indonesia (Human Rights Watch).

In other religious liberty commentary, see Islamic Studies No Longer Required for Religious Minority Students in Pakistan; Christians Rejoice (The Christian Post) and A Year of Bumpy Ups and Downs for Religious Liberty in Vietnam (Morning Star News).

Finally, in case you missed it, last week’s Missions Catalyst also highlighted a short video on The Top Ten Countries Where Christians Face Extreme Persecution (Open Doors).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Missions Catalyst welcomes comments, especially those that provide additional insights on a topic or story as a help to other readers. We reserve the right to screen comments and may provide light editing. Note that comments including links may be delayed so we can make sure they are not spam; we hope you will include relevant links, anyway!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.