Indonesia's Local Belief


I believe that every believer has their own rights to practice and perform their faith towards their religion without being assaulted or judged.

Baca Juga :
When it comes to diversity, the first thing that comes up to my mind is Indonesia, a country rich with land, culture, traditions, and most importantly religion. In the minds of people around the world, people think about Indonesia as an Islamic country. Although in fact, the majority are Muslims, however, at the same time Indonesia has other religions, and the official religions that the country recognizes are Protestantism, Hinduism, Catholicism, Confucianism, Buddhism, and Islam. On the other hand, there are many indigenous religions within the depths of the country, which are the unique culture and traditions that have been existing even before all these official religions have taken their place in Indonesia.

Within every province, Indonesians have different religions and the majority population believing in their own religion may differ depending on the provinces. For example, on the island of Papua, most of the people with religions are Christians. However, the traditional ethnic religion of Papua New Guinea was Animism and had the elements of ancestral worship, and in addition, they even had religion/cult which had to do with witches. Nowadays, the ancient belief and faith of the people are somehow embedded within Christianity. Although, anything related to witches or other gods was removed by the presence of “the God”.

In Indonesia, the country does not recognize other religions, due to its system where there is the existence of God. Therefore, atheism and its local belief are not granted the same treatment as the six official religions. It is obvious why the country does not recognize atheism as a religion, however, it is a different story for the local beliefs because it has existed in the very land of Indonesia for centuries or even for millennia. Despite that, local beliefs are somehow discriminated against by the government and the society and in some cases, the community of the local beliefs are sometimes physically abused. The reason behind this is that society sees religion as a cult that performs shamanism and dark rituals. Sometimes, this can be true, but I do not think that it does not go the same for all people that are part of the local belief. For example, we can not expect all humans to have the same taste in music, cuisine, knowledge, and even philosophy. I do think that all humans are different from each other, even twins that physically look alike have different personalities.

As what I have said earlier, the discrimination against local belief is shockingly extreme to a certain point that these believers have lots of struggle in their daily life despite them also wanting to be part of the society. For example, these people are often rejected in works/jobs due to lack of faith, however in reality, how do we even judge someone whether they lack faith or not? Because the amount of faith people has can be different from each other, therefore, it is not possible to have the same standard for it. In life, sometimes I think about “how do we know what is good, and what is bad?” because humans are all different. For example, for some people, good can be something related to doing charities. For some, praying to God daily is a good thing to do. And for someone, killing people may be a good thing, for the sake of preventing overpopulation. In the end, it should not be possible for someone to judge others.

Nowadays, people who have their own faith have been wearing a mask to prevent their religion from being exposed. In fact, people who are not part of the official religions of Indonesia, list themselves as one of the legal religions on their national ID card, even though they are not. For example, there are atheists with the national ID card printed as Muslim or a Christian to hide their beliefs. It is quite unfortunate that these people are afraid to practice their faith openly within society.

In my opinion, I believe that every believer has their own rights to practice and perform their faith towards their religion without being assaulted or judged. And to add a bit of a motto, it is important to respect one another despite being very different from each other. In conclusion, I do not expect much from society to do for these indigenous religions but at least to be treated equally as the others.

Penulis : Cho Kyoung Min
Indonesia's Local Belief
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Inspiring Everyone - Fianosa: Indonesia's Local Belief
Indonesia's Local Belief
I believe that every believer has their own rights to practice and perform their faith towards their religion without being assaulted or judged.
Inspiring Everyone - Fianosa
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