Indonesia Constitutional Court declares discriminatory religion law unconstitutional

Indonesia Constitutional Court declares discriminatory religion law unconstitutional

The Indonesian Constitutional Court on Tuesday found [judgment, PDF] that a 2013 law requiring people who adopted indigenous native faiths to not disclose that religion on their ID cards was discriminatory and unconstitutional.

The Indonesian government only recognizes six official religions and anyone who fails to identify with one of the religions is often denied equal access [Indonesia Investments report] to “education, employment, and legal marriage.” A 2000 census reported about 400,000 Indonesians to identify with a religion or faith other than the those nationally recognized: Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism.

The nine-judge panel unanimously deemed Article 61 (2) and Article 64 (5) of the Civil Administration Law to violate peoples’ right to equality before [Jakarta Post report] the law and, therefore, not legally binding. The court’s decision prompted the House of Representatives to initiate a review [Jakarta Post report] of the Civil Administration Law. A House meeting concerning this plan is set for November 15.