This book is part of a series on ‘The Practice of Pluralism’ published by the Center for Religious and Cross-Cultural Studies (CRCS), Postgraduate School, Gadjah Mada University (UGM), Yogyakarta. It is the product of research undertaken at CRCS since 2008.
The series includes several monographs on research undertaken by CRCS’s partners in different regions of Indonesia (Medan, Banjarmasin, Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Bali, Makassar and Papua) on the practice of pluralism in society. In addition, CRCS has also published Pluralisme Kewargaan: Arah Baru Politik Keragaman di Indonesia (Civic Pluralism: a New Direction in the Politics of Diversity in Indonesia) (2011), which does not specifically focus on one locality but examines the practice of pluralism from a theoretical perspective. CRCS (www.crcs.ugm.ac.id) is a postgraduate program at UGM that was established in 2000. Through academic activities, research and public education, CRCS aims to develop the study of religion and understandings about the dynamics of religious life and social issues in the context of developing a plural society that is both democratic and just.
Healthy pluralism requires space for all religious adherents to worship and construct places of worship in accordance with their convictions. The state should protect this right as an essential matter, Despite this normative ideal, there is still much controversy surrounding the construction of places of worship in Indonesia. In the last few years, the planned construction of a number of places of worship has been disputed, although others have been able to overcome these problems by relying on different strategies.
This research seeks to examine the factors that play a role in initiating and resolving conflict over places of worship. Places of worship are specifically limited in this study to Catholic churches and Protestant churches that are members of the Communion of Churches in Indonesia (Persekutuan Gereja-gereja di Indonesia, PGI).
The methods used were participant observation and in-depth interviews of church members representing one of four categories: (1) undisputed churches; (2) disputed churches that have since resolved the dispute; (3) originally undisputed churches that have since become disputed; and (4) churches that have never been able to resolve the dispute.
Based on thirteen case studies, the research on which this report is based confirms the influential role of state regulation and social factors. The cases show that the obstacles some churches experience are generally related to weak government agencies due to political, social or ideological reasons. In terms of social factors, demographic factors were not found to have an influence. Resistance to churches was more often caused by a lack of communication, or provocation or intimidation by specific groups. After describing and analysing the thirteen cases selected, this monograph closes with conclusions and recommendations.
is an international collaboration between academic institutes and civil society organisations in four countries, namely CRCS (Yogyakarta, Indonesia); the Center for the Study of Culture and Society (Bangalore, India); the Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda (Kampala, Uganda); and the Kosmopolis Institute, University for Humanistics and Hivos (The Netherlands), which organises and supports it. PKP seeks to develop and distribute knowledge that strengthens understandings about pluralism throughout these four countries. PKP’s initiatives in Indonesia include publication of the Annual Report on Religious Life in Indonesia since 2009; facilitation of research undertaken collaboratively by academics and NGO activists on the local practice of pluralism; and the International Summer School on Pluralism and Development, which involves teachers and participants from each of the four countries. Further information is available at www.uvh.nl and www.crcs.ugm.ac.id.