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LINK Surviving Indonesia as an atheist when the country is built on rigid religious traditions and policies

FTA: With Indonesia’s ‘heresy app’, religious harmony hasn’t a prayer
“People have been fired from their jobs, kicked out of their homes, and even disowned by their parents,” he says. “People should make the decision to be open, or not, by themselves, but [they] should absolutely be ready for the consequences of doing so.”

He believes that most religious sermonising blasphemes against other religions, but it’s always the minorities, including atheists, who are threatened by Indonesia’s blasphemy law. He has managed to stay relatively safe because he lives in the US and works for a well-known global company.

Indonesia’s various atheist communities – IA and the forums that emerged in its wake – now have memberships ranging from a few hundred to tens of thousands.

zblaze 7 Oct 7

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I traveled over a 100 countries, don't I think I would of survived if I was a woman, gay or Atheists. Luckily I keept my own council and more general.


Another place I have no desire to visit.
The people have acquiesced to theocracy.
They're the only ones who can free themselves. If they want to.

@OwlInASack It's unfortunate, but history has shown that when a people try to throw off the shackles of ANY government, there will be those who will die in the process.
It's up to them, individually and collectively, to muster up their courage and take a stand.
Die on your feet, or live on your knees.
Applies to everyone.


Oh yes. Spent the first 12 years of my life there. A very controlled life for sure. So glad I don’t live there anymore.

Saya juga. 🙂

 Indonesia has a dominant religious fanaticism  because the US supported Islamic fanatics  and the military against a secular democratic government in 1965.  This coup was a genocidal one that killed almost a million.  Yet another case where Islamic fanatics were used  to further the interests of imperialist US corporations.

Typical US Corporate government manifest destruction of others for power and profit over them!

US Military intervention 1798 to 2019


Ah yes, yet another example of American Imperialism where, just like the ancient Roman Empire, America has inserted its eternally blood stained fingers, created a Desert and called it 'Progress/Democracy.'

This is not accurate. The US supported Indonesian General Suharto in overthrowing then-President Sukarno. Suharto's 30+ year regime (the "new order" ) is known for creating economic development, social tolerance based on nationalism (rather than religion), and "social stability." The Suharto regime actuallly prosecuted/persecuted religious extremists (groups that wanted an Islamic Indonesian state). In the late 90s, the Indonesian population eventually lost faith in Suharto (after a financial crisis) and became influenced by more conservative Islamic interpretations spread by the Saudi Wahabbists.

It was after US-supported Suharto fell from power that the religious crazies became powerful.

@TelefunkenU37 What you are saying is correct but it is not the full picture. Suharto was supported by Muslim clerics, Muslim soldiers, and Muslim gangs which attacked suspected Communists and Chinese in 1965 for being godless. You are correct in that these were simply ordinary fundamentalists. But as in the Iran coup of 1953, letting the fundamentalists help murder a secular democracy paved the way for the the crazies later on. As a capitalist, Suharto used Islam to his advantage until it bit him. That's what happened to the US also.

@TelefunkenU37 Also, the problems of uneven capitalist development lead to religious fundamentalism. When pro-capitalist dictators like the Shah and Suharto suppress socialist reformers, the exploited classes only have religion (Islam) through which they can voice their grievances. As exploitation gets worse, more people become fanatics.

@Krish55 thanks for clarifying things. I just wanted people to understand that the shariah-inspired laws we see today in Indonesia today were not part of the U.S.-supported Suharto regime (from ~'66-98 ) during which there was there was a lot of inter-religious harmony. The regional shariah-inspired policies we see today came about after Suharto's autocratic government was de-centralized and limitations on political organization were removed. When the Suharto regime fell, it was like a national identity crisis. Suddenly, there were dozens of political political groups competing for public favor and it turned out that appealing to religious sensibilities was a good way to win votes. Even the street gangs changed their identity to fit the new conditions: one day they were suppressing anti-government sentiments. The next, they turned into morality police. Like you, I see sad parallels here in the US: limited economic mobility in society reinforcing religious/tribal identities. When politicians can't deliver jobs or healthcare, all they can offer is "sky cake" (see Patton Oswalt).


Spent eight months there in late ‘88,all over, almost anchored in Borobudhur😎


The evil of religion .. all religions.

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