The kind of conflict that has kept one HKBP Church community in Bekasi (Greater Jakarta) from having its own house of worship is almost unknown over the building of mosques in the Christian-majority city of Manado in northern Sulawesi. Why? This question about religion, politics, and society in contemporary Indonesia was triggered by the presenter’s research on houses of worship in four parts of Indonesia: Bekasi, Manado, Pontianak (West Kalimantan), and Bali. To answer this question, my Wednesday Forum presentation will discuss two questions: (a) what is the public perception of houses of worship in these two areas, including those of other religions? (b) How does social change (mainly caused by migration) affect interfaith relations and the recognition and protection of houses of worship in the local areas? I usequantitative and qualitative analysis to answer the research questions. I interviewed more than fifty local religious leaders in the aforementioned areas gathered more than 660 questionnaires in order to give a deeper and more satisfying explanation for conflict over houses of worship in Indonesia than has beendone before. My hope is that greater analysis of regional differences will lead to breakthroughs in peacebuilding in Indonesian society.
Suhadi earned his Ph.D. from the Department of Philosophy, Theology, and Religious Studies, Radboud University Nijmegen. He is a lecturer at Center for Religious and Cross-cultural Studies, Graduate School, Universitas Gadjah Mada.