Date: March 12, 2021
Washington, DC – The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released a new report on the ongoing religious freedom implications of Indonesia’s state ideology of Pancasila, including the current status of the ideology and state-run efforts to empower it.
Factsheet on Pancasila in Indonesia – Pancasila is a founding concept of Indonesia, comprising of five principles: monotheism, civilized humanity, national unity, deliberative democracy, and social justice. As Indonesia has witnessed the rise of Islamist extremist activities and sentiment in recent decades, President Joko Widodo’s administration has prioritized emphasizing Pancasila and Indonesia’s historically moderate version of Islam to confront this trend. However, this effort has failed to include the expansion of freedom of religion or belief in its focus on tolerance and unity.
In its 2020 Annual Report (also available in Indonesian), USCIRF recommended that the State Department place Indonesia on its “Special Watch List” for engaging in or tolerating severe violations of religious freedom pursuant to the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA).