Friski Riana, Jakarta – Latest study of human rights group Setara Institute revealed that the Covid-19 pandemic creates fertile ground for discrimination and intolerance. The institute's research director Halili said that there are 180 cases of violations of the freedom of religion and worship (KBB) with 422 acts of violation.
"Compared to the previous year, the number of incidents decreased slightly. In 2019, there were 200 cases of KBB violations, but the number of actions jumped sharply compared to the previous year at only 327 violations," said Halili in his statement on Tuesday, April 6, 2021.
Most of the cases occurred in West Java with 39 violations, followed by East Java (23), Aceh (18), Jakarta (13), Central Java (12), North Sumatra (9), South Sulawesi (8), Yogyakarta (7), Banten (6), and West Sumatra (5).
According to him, 238 of the 422 violations were committed by state officials such as staffers of regional administration and policemen. Meanwhile, the rest 184 cases were committed by civil groups and religious mass organizations.
In general, Halili said, the Covid-19 pandemic had positive and negative impacts on KBB in Indonesia. The positive impacts, for example, include unlimited access to online worship and mutual cooperation between religious communities.
Meanwhile, the negative impacts include polarization in society, the politicization of Covid-19, a hike in the marginalization of people who are discriminated, especially women, and the limit or cancellation of religious activities.
In his recommendations, Halili suggested that the central and regional governments strengthen community programs that emphasize interfaith interactions in order to eradicate discrimination and intolerance. "This is important to foster mutual trust and brotherhood, promote tolerance, and build social resilience," he said.