We'll receive a $25,000 grant if others match it by Pentecost. $23,425 to go. Your gift will be doubled!
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!

Our Spring Challenge Grant
Progress toward our Spring Challenge Grant goal ($23,425 to go):
$25,400.00 $1,975.00
92% 8%
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.

Matching Campaign
Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

To-do list for faithful Catholics 3 hours ago
Not Fully Human: Anthony Esolen’s compelling verdict on contemporary human formation 3 hours ago
A silent scandal: Catholic schools promoting morally unacceptable vaccines April 24
A More Militant Church? April 24
How we'll know if the Vatican and the US hierarchy are serious about deposing negligent bishops April 24

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope challenges world leaders' silence on persecution of Christians CWN - April 6
Pope outlines plans for the extraordinary jubilee of mercy CWN - April 13
Vatican completes doctrinal assessment of Leadership Conference of Women Religious CWN - April 16
Pope accepts resignation of Bishop Finn CWN - April 21