Watching Indonesian Primal Religions and the Problems

After September 30, 1965 tragedy, believers of primal religions were considered communists. The legitimacy was the definition of religion, which was drawn on the understanding of world religion, stated by the Indonesian Ministry of Religion. One who didn't profess the official religions was considered atheist, then enemy.

It caused discriminations and oppression with the actors both from the state and public. The basic human rights to believe in God was burdened. In some cases, they didn't have the right to get public services, including education and become civil servants. Threats also came through military agents at the time as the agent combating communism/atheism. Some don't care, some are miserable and decided to "profess" one, some feel oppressed and believed that their rights need to be fulfilled.

In the early stage of state independence, the draft of the constitution related to religion indeed a debate. There were two blocks, first wanting Islam as the constitutional basis, second against it. Jakarta Charter, later become the preambule of 1945 Constitutions stated it but before it's knocked, the sentence related to Islam only was changed into almighty Godhead. Yet, only Islam and Catholics, and Christians considered as a religion, followed by Buddha and Hindu, and last Kong Hu Cu (Confucius). Primal religions, besides the official religions mentioned, had never been considered as "religion" but culture.

Before 2006, in the religion section on their ID, the believers need to put one religion. Later, the people are no needed to choose religion with the Population Administration Law (Adminduk) 23/2006, one of the articles of which enables the believers to clear the religion column on the KTP. However, for security and benefits purposes, some people fill one of the six religions. And now, after 2017, they can put belief (not religion) on their ID after the Constitutional Court's decision toward one Judicial Review related to the case.

Further reading: Indonesian Pluralities 

Monday, January 13, in the evening, student of Sociology-Anthropology Ed. Department UNS held a film screening. It's Atas Nama Percaya, a film by CRCS UGM in collaboration with Watchdoc, Boston University, and Henry Luce Foundation. The film mainly tells about the long journey of the group of believers or followers of primal religion to survive and to gain state recognition and societal acceptance. The two communities shown in the show are Marapu in East Nusa Tenggara and Perjalanan in West Java.

Although the problem related to the religion section on the ID seems to have been resolved, the problems related to the existence of primal religion remains. 

They are not managed by the Ministry of Religion. Instead of providing indorsement, the ministry is taking a role as a supervisory agency that censors if there are activities from those deemed to be deviant of the official religion. With the number of frictions intra-inter official religions, the ministry seems don't want to bother and instead continues to establish the domination of official religions. Ministry of Education and Culture also unable to maximize education services. From hundreds of beliefs, they only provide extension agents, not teachers, and a general textbook for the religion course process. Teachers and educational publishers have been slow to recognize the immense contributions to be made by primal religions in the religious education syllabus. The religion section on the ID seems only one step to please some parties, even though some others still triggered. 

Ultimately, it's still a long way to eliminate discrimination that comes from various actors, whether the state or society.
January 15, 2020