Critical need by 8/31:   $10,000 to cover a crippling immediate shortfall.   $7,605 to go.   Please help now!
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 ($18,154 to go):
$35,000.00 $16,846.18
52% 48%
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
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Legal pressure does not make sterilization moral 11 hours ago
Just as you suspected, most polls are useless. August 26
Intrinsic evil can't be evaluated on a case-by-case basis August 26
'Catholicism by osmosis is dead'—Weigel hits the nail on the head August 26
Human Life is Family Life August 25

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: welcome with compassion those who have remarried outside the Church CWN - August 5