The documents present summary of findings of situation analysis study on religious freedom and tolerance in Indonesia, under the PROTECT Program (Promoting Collective Efforts Towards Resilience and Tolerance in Indonesia), supported by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.
Despite its reputation as a diverse country, in recent years Indonesia has experienced a depressing increase in instances of intolerance towards minority groups, which especially exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic that ensued a digital surge due to the physical distancing norms and lockdowns. The flooding online misinformation has also sparked a rise in intolerant discourse targeting minority groups, as much the pandemic has been limiting room for dialogues and positive interactions between people. The objective of this situation analysis study is to support the baseline of the project by studying the existing situation of freedom of religion and belief (FORB) and civil society organizations’ participation in advocating FORB and protection of minorities, and promoting tolerance.
Overall, the study highlighted that the situation of freedom of religions, belief, and tolerance in general can be regarded as ‘remaining fragile’, putting an emphasis that as though the intensity is increasing, the tension is not extremely violent. Albeit multiple efforts to support the social cohesion have been convened by the government and the civil society organizations (CSOs), there still has been very little examples where the minority and hard-to-reach communities meet with the divisive promoting groups to mutually share their views and concerns. In the end, diversities were not represented in the forums, or only engaged in an exclusive room for dialogue – still trapped, in the segregation of the majority and minority. In most cases, there may be harmony, but diversity remains neglected.