Blasphemy May Soon Be OK In Indonesia

A recent decision by the Indonesian Constitutional Court declaring there may longer be any need for the 1965 Blasphemy Law has been greeted by many religions as a welcome change. Under the law, the government has the authority to charge leaders and their followers of suspected heretical ideas. Article I, states, that it is illegal to “intentionally publicize, recommend, or organize public support for a different interpretation of a religion practiced in Indonesia or religious ritual resembling that of another religion.” A cursory glance at such a law immediately identifies complex ways in which a member of a religion could be charged with a religious crime.

The Indonesian Bishops Conference and the Indonesian Communion of Churches support the court decision arguing Indonesian society today is more stable and able to handle differences of religious opinion than it was in the sixties. The essence of any religion is that each generation interprets meaning through their own perspective.