Universitas Indonesia Conferences, 7th International Symposium of Journal Antropologi Indonesia

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Revisiting the New Policy on Kepercayaan for Social Inclusion
Samsul Maarif

Building: Soegondo Building
Room: 709
Date: 2019-07-24 03:00 PM – 04:30 PM
Last modified: 2019-06-21


This paper will discuss specific issues related to the state recognition of kepercayaan (indigenous religions). It will specifically examine the new policy, the Constitutional Court (Mahkamah Konstitusi or MK) Decision and its follow-up regulations. It will show that the MK decision basically commends the state to recognise and provide services to all citizens equally, but its follow-up regulations, especially the circular letter (surat edaran, SE) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, perpetuates citizenship differentiation. The SE stipulates that followers of kepercayaan hold special ID cards, different from followers of the six recognised religions. The SE preserves privileges for the politicised majority, and remains threatening to minority groups, adherents of kepercayaan.

This paper will elaborate further the current concerns of followers of kepercayaan in response to the new policy. It will demonstrate tensions even among the followers as driven by the new policy. As found in a series of research projects, those followers have been grouped into three factions: pure kepercayaan, religious kepercayaan, and mixed kepercayaan. The new policy has provoked the groupings, and those groupings have becomed sources of tensions, which may potentially escalate to discrimination even among the followers.

This paper will finally argue for the need to revisit the new policy, not the MK decision, but the follow-up regulations. It will use the theory of social inclusion to build an argument that regulations should consider the trilogy of policy, state services, and social acceptance for strengthening the Indonesian motto, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity). The theory will explain that such regulations following up the MK decision would prolong exclusion of minority groups, and potentially destroy social cohesion. It will also offer ways out or strategies of formulating (inclusive) social engineering that may in theory establish social cohesion.

Keywords: kepercayaan, minority, policy of recognition, social inclusion.