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.