Grace under pressure: religious minorities in Indonesia and Malayasia feel increasingly threatened21 June 2017 | by Benedict Rogers
Indonesia and Malaysia have been known as role models of Muslim-majority democracies that are moderate and pluralistic. But the politicisation of religion in recent years has led to religious minorities in both countries feeling increasingly threatened / By Benedict Rogers
The Christian governor of Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, is in jail for blasphemy. Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known as “Ahok”, was a popular governor, well respected for his fight against corruption and his efforts to improve Jakarta’s public services.
As a member of two minorities – ethnic Chinese and Christian – governing the capital of the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation, he was a poster boy for Indonesia’s tradition of pluralism and religious tolerance. Yet he was defeated in elections in April largely because his political opponents played the religion card.
Manage my subcription hereManage
Sign up for our newsletterSign Up