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State actors involved in almost all violations of religious freedom: Imparsial

Detik News - December 28, 2022

Anggi Muliawati, Jakarta – Indonesian Human Rights Watch (Imparsial) found there were 26 cases of intolerance recorded by the media as occurring in Indonesia in 2022. Imparsial revealed that West Java (Jabar) is the region with the highest number of cases of violations of religion and belief (KBB).

"These cases were spread across several provinces but the most were in Jabar, I think this is in accordance with Komnas HAM's [the National Human Rights Commission's] portrait, then East Timor, NTB [West Nusa Tenggara], North Sumatra, Jakarta province, and Aceh, this is the portrait of cases of KBB violations in Indonesia", said Imparsial Deputy Director Ardi Manto during a public discussion on an end of year report on tolerance and freedom of religion and beliefs in Indonesia, which was broadcast on the Imparsial YouTube channel on Wednesday December 28.

Manto said that there were various categories of violations of freedom of religion and belief noting that the largest number of violations were in the places of worship category.

"The category related to places of worship, this was the majority of cases, if we add it up the total in the form of damaging places of worship was seven cases, prohibitions on performing worship including the other day in Bogor regency was six cases, then prohibitions on establishing places of worship with five cases", he said.

"(There were) 17 cases, at least that many in relations to the polemic on minority faiths performing worship. Apart from that, there were also cases in the community, five cases relating to certain religions, then three cases of damaging diversity, but those related to places of worship were the highest", he continued.

Furthermore, according to Manto, local government involvement was found in these cases of violations. Manto revealed that there were state actors in the violations against freedom of religion and beliefs in several regions.

"The actors are still the same, that is it's dominated by individual groups in society that reject the presence of a house of worship or reject religious celebrations or faith based rituals that are different from them, but what is more saddening is the presence of state actors in almost all acts of intolerance or these incidents", he said.

Manto then gave the example of the cases of the construction of a church in Cilegon, Banten province, that attracted a polemic. He said that the different actors played a proportional role in the violations of freedom of religion and belief."The presence of state or local government actors in Cilegon or in Bogor, strengthened the community culture, if I'm not mistaken, they call it the preservation of local wisdom, if I'm not mistaken, but this is backed up by the government itself, by signing petitions or rejecting the construction of a church in Cilegon, and this has happened in a number of places", he said.

"State actors or non-state actors, they play a role that is quite proportional, which is the same in violations of freedom of religion and belief", he said. (amw/dek)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Imparsial: Pelanggaran Kebebasan Beragama Paling Banyak di Jabar".]

Source: https://news.detik.com/berita/d-6485956/imparsial-pelanggaran-kebebasan-beragama-paling-banyak-di-jaba