Minister promotes Indonesia’s religious freedom to British lawmaker


Jakarta, – Minister of Law and Human Rights Yasonna H. Laoly promoted the practice of freedom of religion in Indonesia to a member of the United Kingdom’s Parliament, Fiona Bruce.

The minister said that the Indonesian government grants protection to human rights in various aspects of life, including freedom of religion.

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“Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim country and third-largest democracy, consistently promotes and protects human rights in various aspects of life, including freedom of religion,” he said as cited from a statement received in Jakarta on Tuesday.

In Indonesia, the freedom of religion is guaranteed and regulated by the 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia in Article 28 E, Paragraph 1 and Article 29, Paragraph 2, as well as in Article 22, Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Law No. 39 of 1999 concerning human rights.

During a meeting with Bruce in the UK on Monday (July 24) evening local time, Minister Laoly told the legislator that people of different religions live peacefully in Indonesia, adding that the people even care for one another during religious holidays.

He then elaborated that such a peaceful condition is being supported by Pancasila (Five Principles), the nation’s foundation and ideology, which also serves as the guardian of Indonesia’s diverse religions, ethnicity, and cultures.

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“As the country’s ideology and foundation, Pancasila highly promotes diversity as well as just and civilized humanity, and safeguards Indonesia’s unity,” he noted.

According to the minister, the country’s ideology teaches the people how to responsibly exercise their right to practice religion and have religious beliefs.

“Therefore, Indonesian people live in harmony and unite in diversity, in accordance with our motto Bhinneka Tunggal Ika,” he explained.

Minister Laoly then expressed hope that the governments of Indonesia and the UK will continue to collaborate to promote freedom of religion at the global level, considering Bruce also serves as the British Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief.

Moreover, she is serving as chairperson of the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance (IRFBA).

Bruce noted that the international community has recognized Indonesia’s capability of safeguarding freedom of religion, despite having to manage various challenges as a result of its pluralistic society.

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She said Indonesia plays a central role in issues related to human rights, both within the national and global context. Hence, to this end, she looked forward to witnessing the strengthening of cooperation on freedom of religion between Indonesia and the British Parliament.

Both countries are currently collaborating to hold the International Conference on Cross-Cultural Religious Literacy scheduled to take place in Jakarta on November 13-14 this year.

The international conference will be organized by the Ministry of Law and Human Rights in the collaboration with Leimena Institute, the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at the Brigham Young University Law School, and the US-based Secretariat of the IRFBA.

The legislator then confirmed that she will join the conference to talk on the topic “Human Dignity and the Rule of Law: Global and Regional Outlook.”

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