Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Indonesian Christian politician: remove religion from national ID cards

Catholic World News - January 06, 2014

A prominent Christian politician in Indonesia has called for the removal of religion from national identification cards, according to a Jakarta Globe report.

All Indonesians are required to identify themselves as adherents of Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, or Confucianism. The nation of 251 million is 86% Muslim, 6% Protestant, 3% Catholic, and 2% Hindu.

Lieutenant Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama of Jakarta, the nation’s capital, said that “the practice discriminates against citizens who do not participate in state-sanctioned religions, but are forced to declare one against their beliefs in order to gain an ID card,” according to a Jakarta Globe paraphrase of his remarks.

Khabar Southeast Asia, a website of the US military’s Pacific Command, reported that Purnama called for the addition of a seventh option (“other”) on the ID card, rather than for the removal of religion.

In its reporting, the US Pacific Command’s website changed the names of the six official religions – which various reference works, as well as the Indonesian embassy in the US, list as Islam, Catholicism, Protestantism, Confucianism, Hinduism and Buddhism – to “Islam, Christianity, Roman Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism or Confucianism,” with the implication that “Roman Catholicism” is distinct from “Christianity.”

An official of Nahdlatul Ulama, a powerful Sunni Muslim organization, opposed Purnama’s proposal, according to the website.

“By knowing somebody's religion, we can be mindful of being tolerant,” said Tubagus Robbyansyah.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our August expenses ($22,308 to go):
$35,000.00 $12,692.44
64% 36%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

In Iraq, the Pope has good reason to seek intervention, but fear unilateral US action 3 hours ago
As Catholic News Unfolds... August 19
An Iraqi archbishop's warning to the West August 19
The cause for beatification of Archbishop Romero: BBC botched the story August 19
Church Fathers: The Didache and the Epistle of Barnabas August 19

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
‘A real via crucis’: Pope Francis, patriarch plead on behalf of Iraq’s Christians CWN - August 8
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians in flight as Islamic State advances CWN - August 8