TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas asserted that the government will affirm the religious rights of Shia and Ahmadiyah believers in Indonesia. The statement was issued in response to a request voiced by a professor from Jakarta State Islamic University Azyumardi Azra on minority affairs.
Yaqut claimed he does not want any minority religious communities to be expelled from their hometowns because of differences in beliefs. “They are Indonesians citizens who must be protected,” said the new minister in Jakarta, Thursday, Dec. 24, 2020.
The ministry will also facilitate a more intensive dialogue to bridge existing differences, he added.
Previously, Azyumardi asked the government to affirm minority affairs during the Indonesian Institute of Sciences’ (LIPI) Professor Talk forum which was conducted online in Jakarta, last Tuesday.
“Especially for those who have been marginalized and persecuted. That needs affirmation,” said Azyumardi.
He argued that, however, such intolerance issues did not only arise among Muslims but also among other religions in Indonesia.
“In a region that has a majority population of Christian, it is difficult for Catholics to build a church. In a Catholic majority area, it is also difficult for Christians to build one,” said Azyumardi.