Freedom to Have no Religion in Indonesia and its Legal Impact

Proceedings of The 2nd International Conference on Advanced Research in Humanities

Year: 2019


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Freedom to Have no Religion in Indonesia and its Legal Impact

Muchammad Ichsan and Nanik Prasetyoningsih




Indonesia’s population consists of a variety of ethnicities and cultures. Therefore, it is not surprising if they also have various kinds of religions and beliefs. Some of them even have no religion at all. This study aims to examine whether Indonesian law allows people to have no faith or not. Besides, this study outlines the legal impact of not having religion and belief in Indonesia. For these purposes, this study is designed to be qualitative and uses normative legal research methods. The research found that Indonesia has rules regarding religious freedom. People have the right to embrace whatever religion they want, especially the six official religions, namely, Islam, Christianity, Catholicism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Confucianism. They also have the right to worship according to the teachings of their religion. However, according to a strong opinion, the right to recognize any religion does not mean the freedom not to be religious. Thus, Indonesia banned atheism based on several arguments. The indigenous belief, although not a religion, is not atheism. The indigenous belief is justified and has legal protection in Indonesia because it has been there for a long time. The legal impact for those who do not have religion is that they will face difficulties in obtaining their rights, such as in terms of education, marriage, and financial matters.

Keywords: Freedom of Religion, Atheism, Indigenous Believe, Indonesia.