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Thursday, 11 November 2010

Religion in Indonesia


The major highlight of Religion in Indonesia is its Religious syncretism, defined as blending of two or more religious belief systems into a new system, or the incorporation into a religious tradition of beliefs from unrelated traditions. There can be many reasons for the same to happen, but the most common of all is co-existence of multiple religious traditions in an area, in close proximity and functioning actively in the culture.In Indonesia, the majority [about 85%] of the population follow Islam. Thought the Indonesian Constitution provides freedom of religion to all its citizens and states "every person shall be free to choose and to practice the religion of his/her choice" and "guarantees all persons the freedom of worship, each according to his/her own religion or belief". However, the First Principle of the State Philosophy' "Pancasila", upholds a "Belief in One Supreme God".
In Indonesia, religion plays a major role in everyday life of people. There are a number of different religions that are practiced in Indonesia, which exude a significant influence on the country's political, economical and cultural life.
As of 1998, approximately 88% of Indonesia's 222 million people are Muslims, 5% are Protestant, 3% are Catholic, 2% are Hindu, 1% is Buddhist, and 1% believes in other religions.
Officially, there are only six religions that are recognized by the Indonesian Government, namely Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism. The government is however tolerant of other religions as well.
Indonesia has inherited a rich cultural legacy, which is intertwined with religion and age-old traditions from the time of early migrants with Western thoughts brought by Portuguese traders and Dutch colonists.
In Indonesia, apart from the various religious dictums there are some basic life guiding principles, followed by all like, the concepts of mutual assistance or "gotong royong" and consultations or "musyawarah" to arrive at a consensus or "mufakat".

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