The Position of Religious Minorities in Indonesia’s Democratic Transition: A Study toward Critical Overview

  • M. Regus St. Paul of Ruteng Indonesian Catholic University, Flores
Keywords: Indonesia, religious minorities, democratic transition, Justice


The problems of democratic transition as a context of this study will be analyzed. Also, violence and political exclusion of the religious minority groups will be explained. At the end of the chapter, the possibility of political will and legal solutions for violence against religious minority groups in Indonesia in the post-1998 era are discussed. It is explained that a comprehensive legal protection scheme would be needed to realize the rights of religious minorities in Indonesia. One of the fundamental purposes of democratization in the post-authoritarian era is thus shown to be the protection of religious minority groups. The chapter will first discuss the problem of democratic changes with a focus on the politics of decentralization and the critical practice of civil democracy, which will all be explored, the two significant changes affecting the position of religious minorities in Indonesia. The chapter will then consider the exclusion of religious minorities and the failure of the ‘democratic’ state to protect their basic citizenship rights. Next, the role of the state and of civil society in the implementation of non-respect of legal protection for religious minority communities will be considered based on the critical overview.


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[2] Magdalena Sepulveda Human Rights: Reference Handbook. Costa Rica: University for Peace, pp. 197-203. Also see, Mark Lattimer, Director of Minority Rights Group International, said that religious minority groups in some areas suffer brutal attacks, detentions and torture horribly from time to time (ReligiousLiberty.TV, 16/10/2010). Religious intolerance is the new racism in the world.
[3] There is a similar situation between Indonesia and Bangladesh in transition time. See, iDRC (Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre) and NRC (Norwegian Refugee Council) (2009). Bangladesh:Indigenous People and Religious Minorities Still Affected by Displacement. Data source:$file/Bangladesh_Overview_Jul09.pdf The report was downloaded on 17th May 2013.
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[23] Located in Southeast Asia with a population of about 240 million people. Indonesia is known as the country with the largest Islamic population in around the world with 220 million people. Indonesia has approximately 17 thousand islands with diverse social, ethnic, cultural dimensions in the Center for Religious and Cross-Cultural Studies (CRCS), Annual Report on Religious Life in Indonesia, Graduate School Gadjah Mada University, Jogyakarta, Indonesia, 2009. This report was downloaded at 29/01/2013, 17:28:32
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[29] The Law Number 39 of 1999 on Human Rights Law Number 26 of 2000 on Human Rights Court. Both of these laws were made by the Council of Representatives after the reform. Two laws are part of the significant progress of legal reform in Indonesia.
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How to Cite
Regus, M. (2019). The Position of Religious Minorities in Indonesia’s Democratic Transition: A Study toward Critical Overview. International Journal of Interreligious and Intercultural Studies, 2(2), 86-99.