Official, Recognized Religions

Oct 1st, 2010, in Featured, News, by

Said Agil Siraj

Said Agil Siraj

Nahdlatul Ulama (PBNU) leader KH Said Agil Siraj says there are nineteen "local" religions in Indonesia which are seeking recognition by the state, among them Baha’i, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Confucianism.

Taking a more liberal approach than his predecessor as the head of NU, Hasyim Muzadi, who was against the idea of recognising more than the official 5 religions, claiming that there would be no end to it, with possibly hundreds of obscure faiths and sects clamouring to be recognised by the state, Said Agil Siraj said:

Archimandrite Daniel, of the Indonesian Orthodox Church

Indonesian Orthodox Church

Apart from the five official religions [Islam, the Catholic and Protestant branches of Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism] there are 19 'local' religions seeking recognition; it's time the government had a look at this, in the interests of the social contract.

He went on to say that the NU supported religious pluralism, and that government must not forbid individuals from performing religious worship, but that the state must ensure that people abided by the national principle of faith in one God only.

Restrictions on faith are violations of universal human rights, but as part of the social contract the state must continue to create a society with faith in one God.

Children of Ahmadiyah refugees in Lombok

Children of Ahmadiyah refugees in Lombok

He did not specifically mention the case of the banned Ahmadiyah sect of Islam, but said later that the NU, in dealing with the growth of "local" religions and specifically that of deviant Islamic religious sects, preferred a 'persuasive' rather than forceful approach. kompas


10 Comments on “Official, Recognized Religions”

  1. avatar BrotherMouzone says:

    It’s great to see a moderate Muslim leader making a stand (where is Ross when you need him?) it would be even better for him to tackle the Ahmadiyah issue directly, but from what I know of it, NU is a highly political organization and he has to tread lightly.

    Definitely a step in the right direction, though!

  2. avatar Lairedion says:

    but that the state must ensure that people abided by the national principle of faith in one God only.

    This principle remains an obstacle for true freedom of religion. However kudo’s for KH Said Agil Siraj for supporting pluralism.

  3. avatar Hans says:

    There is probably no big problem with Religion, large and small, the problems lie in when Religion becomes policy, the State’s responsibility for people to get education and enlightenment.
    Of course, all have faith in what they beliv in, though it should be as natural to religious leaders to serve as advisors to the people in ther daily life and work, if any Religious leaders start speak politically it must resign and transfer to non-public works.
    Most important is still the state through the school educates and informs students about the real world. personally I think the school should be completely without of religion and pajama costumes.

  4. avatar Odinius says:

    Um…Confucianism has been an officially recognized and institutionally supported religion since Gus Dur’s presidency.

  5. avatar Ross says:

    Brother Mouzone, fear not!

    I have just been enormously busy with Ross’s Right Angle, posting daily and covering all kinds of stuff.
    But I do take time to applaud the NU when it makes sensible comment.

    Rather than have the Government ‘recognise’ all those faiths, why not just have the current ones ‘de-recognised,’ as they are big enough to look after themselves, and that would have the bonus benefit of removing that absurd job, Minister of Religion, and the even more absurd present occupant of that position.

    Or, if not, let SBY demonstrate his commitment to tolerance by appointing an Ahmadiyah follower to the position!

  6. avatar Oigal says:

    I see that the Druids are now an official religion with all the benefits that provides in the UK 🙂

  7. avatar Astrajingga says:

    Muzadi’s right, there’ll be no end to recognizing religions.

    Why should religion, faith, belief be recognized?

    What government should do, actually, not to deal with religion. It must be started by abolishing the so called ‘official religions’ and dissolve Departement of Religion (Depag).

    The next step then, to erase “Believe in one supreme God” from Pancasila.

  8. avatar Aprianti says:

    Hmm… Kang Astrajingga is right. Maybe Pancasila needs to be restructured and updated. The first principle of Pancasila in reality ended up negating the second, third, and fifth principles, while the fourth principle becomes one long meaningless ceremonial line creating more hassle for school students during flag ceremonies they have to attend each Monday when we have a bunch of incompetent people as our representatives.

  9. avatar Agan says:

    “The next step then, to erase “Believe in one supreme God” from Pancasila.”

    hmm…and maybe changed it to : “In God we trust. All others we monitor.” ?

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