Religious harmony is a persistent challenge in Indonesia, both within and among religious communities.


During the early years of the democratic transition, thousands of Indonesians were killed in large-scale inter-religious conflicts in several provinces in the east of the country. Long after these conflicts have ended, the construction of new places of worship remains an ongoing source of tension throughout the archipelago. One response of the Indonesian government has been to establish Inter-Religious Harmony Forums (FKUB) in all districts and provinces.


To discuss the issue of religious harmony, and how FKUB have performed in tackling religious disputes and promoting tolerance, Dr Dave McRae chats to Ihsan Ali-Fauzi, director of PUSAD Paramadina, the Centre for the Study of Religion and Democracy. Ihsan has written extensively on these FKUB, and PUSAD Paramadina has established a national database to provide an evidence base for policy decisions about these forums.


Today’s episode is the latest in the “Policy in Focus” series of Talking Indonesia episodes, supported by the Knowledge Sector Initiative (KSI), a partnership between the Australian and Indonesian governments that aims to improve the use of evidence in development policymaking. This series will appear periodically in alternate weeks to the regular Talking Indonesia episodes. The views expressed in this podcast episode do not represent the views of the Australian or Indonesian governments. 


In 2020, the Talking Indonesia podcast is co-hosted by Dr Dave McRae from the University of Melbourne’s Asia Institute, Dr Jemma Purdey from the Australia-Indonesia Centre and Deakin University, Dr Charlotte Setijadi from Singapore Management University and Dr Dirk Tomsa from La Trobe University.


Look out for a new Talking Indonesia podcast every fortnight. Catch up on previous episodes here, subscribe via iTunes or listen via your favourite podcasting app.


Photo by Yulius Satria Wijaya for Antara.


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