Local Beliefs Systems Rights Recognition By the Indonesian Government and Its Implications


Minority religions are a fact of life in Indonesia. The state is supposed to secure their legal rights and obligations, just as they would for any other religious group, including through the recognition of local beliefs on state-issued ID cards. On 24 February 2019, six individuals in Bandung identified as societies in local belief systems, received ID cards from the West Java government. These cards included the usual comment that all citizens were deemed to accept belief in ‘the one and only God’. This sparked opposition from the Indonesia Ulema Council. In addition to expressing criticism of the slow implementation and complex process for obtaining the ID cards, the body criticized the Indonesia Constitutional Court for recognizing local belief systems in this manner. Arguments for and against the issue of local belief recognition are ongoing. Nevertheless, it is imperative for the government, both at the national and local levels, to remain steadfast in its attempt to recognize local belief systems while more intense socialization attempts are enacted.

Keywords: local rights, recognition, minority religions

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[2] Ibid.

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[14] Bonie Nugraha Permana, a civil servant of Tourism and Culture Agency, Bandung and the Chairman of Indonesian Belief Council in Bandung

[15] Rela Susanti, a counsellor of the subject of local belief at schools. Her belief is ‘Budi Daya’

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