Shifting Conceptions of State Regulation of Religion: The Indonesian Draft Law on Inter-Religious Harmony
25(2) Global Change, Peace and Security 1-18
Posted: 31 Jan 2013
Date Written: January 30, 2013
This article seeks to understand how and why states regulate the activities or affairs of religious communities. It does so through a case study of the Indonesian Draft Law on Inter-religious Harmony. The article draws out three general considerations to the study of the dynamics of state regulation of religious affairs: situating modern state approaches to the regulation of religion in historical context; recognizing the framework within which state and religion is structured; and acknowledging the influence of legal norms other than state law. The Indonesian Draft Law on Inter-religious Harmony addresses key debates between Muslims and Christians and within Islam, and it draws upon existing policies of the Ministry of Religion and also of the fatwa of the Indonesian Ulama Council. The shift in state attempts to regulate religion is therefore related to the dynamic and contested nature of the relationship between the branches of government and religious authorities in democratic Indonesia.
Keywords: law, Islam, religion, Indonesia
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