MAINTAINING RELIGIOUS HARMONY AND SOLIDARITY IN INDONESIA
By : Erlangga Pratama
Indonesians are among the most religious people in the world, a recently released survey from the Pew Research Center says. Nearly all Indonesian respondents (96 percent) surveyed stated that belief in God was necessary to be moral and have good values, revealed the Pew Research Center’s “The Global God Divide” report, published on July 20.
The results of the survey, which covered 34 countries, places Indonesia alongside the Philippines as the two countries with the highest percentage of citizens (96 percent) who equate belief in God with having good values. Most Indonesians also deemed religion, God and prayer to be an important part of their lives, at respectively 98 percent, 91 percent and 95 percent of respondents.
The survey confirmed that it was important for Indonesians to define themselves along religious lines, with “religiously unaffiliated people” like agnostics and atheists rarely found in the country.
Indonesian laws guarantee freedom of religion, although in its implementation, citizens must subscribe to one of the six approved official religions: Buddhism, Catholicism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam or Protestantism.
Experts have said that Muslim-majority Indonesia is neither an Islamic state nor an entirely secular one, with religion largely recontextualized as a sociopolitical issue through the country’s democratic and nationalist principles.
Meanwhile, Poushter noted that Indonesia bore similarities with other highly religious societies in emerging and developing economies, where people generally tended to be more religious than people in more advanced economies.
Meanwhile, Religious Affairs Ministry spokesman Oman Fathurahman said on Monday that the Indonesian results of the Pew survey were “unsurprising”.
Oman was quick to add that Indonesia’s high religiosity must be balanced with moderate, inclusive understanding that did not claim “a [particular] religious interpretation as absolute truth”, considering the diverse religious beliefs and practices of Indonesia.
He said the ministry was currently strengthening and expanding its “religious moderation” programs and was including the programs in the ministry’s five-year development plan to guide future policies on religion.
Oman stressed that the purpose of religious moderation was to prevent acts of intolerance and conservative extremism, as well as to educate people to avoid freely “ignoring or degrading [other] religious values”. “In principle, they must be fair and balanced in practicing religious teachings and not be excessive [in leaning toward] either the extreme right and left, because they will both be counterproductive for the very religious people of Indonesia,” he said.
Maintaining Religious Harmony and Solidarity in Indonesia
The Pew Research Center’s “The Global God Divide” report is reflected religious harmony and solidarity in Indonesia. There is no easy way and easy job to maintain religiousity progress in Indonesia, because these country is a plural country which several religious adherents can peacefully life among each others.
However dan substanstively, the government of Indonesia has played good fasilitator, regulator and protector for religious freedom in Indonesia.
We had several experiences since a long time ago whatever and whoever will make religious unbalance or religious segregration in Indonesia, they will fail because togetherness with national tenet, Pancasila, we can build, maintain and keep religious harmony and solidarity in Indonesia.
Covid-19 outbreak has been giving deeply lesson learnt among us. We can see all of Indonesian society level have social piousness to give their help, their attention, their donation and their respect feeling among each others during those pandemic without we are looking what their religion who must be assisted. We must be happy life and be part of Indonesian society. Hopefully.
*) The writer is natioanalist columnist.
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