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Humanist Strategy: An Effective Solution to the Polemic of Baduy Religious Discrimination in Indonesia

Baduy Religious Discrimination: What is the solution?

Indonesia is a country with a rich cultural heritage, home to various religions, cultures, tribes, ethnicities, races, and languages. This diversity is often referred to as “mega cultural diversity”. However, this diversity also makes Indonesia vulnerable to various conflicts, including conflicts related to intolerance. According to the Setara Institute, the average national Tolerant City Index (IKT) in 2022 is expected to be 5.03, which is slightly lower than the 2021 value of 5.241 (Voaindonesia, 2023). This indicates that the level of tolerance in Indonesia is still stagnant and has not reached a significant value.

Intolerance is often triggered by intercultural conflicts, which can lead to clashes between ethnicities, religious adherents, races, and other sensitive groups. Over the past two decades, there has been an increase in conflicts caused by multiculturalism in Indonesia. These conflicts are caused by clashes between ethnic and religious communities, and/or between groups that occur in various regions of Indonesia (Najwan, 2019).

One of the most interesting conflicts of intolerance in Indonesia is related to the Baduy community's religious rights. The Baduy tribe follows the Sundanese Wiwitan belief, which worships ancestral spirits. However, the government does not recognize this belief as an official religion, and adherents of this belief are considered irreligious before joining one of the official religions recognized by the government (Hipwee, 2023). This is a concerning issue regarding the freedom to express religious beliefs. To maintain the culture and beliefs held by the Baduy tribe, humanist efforts are needed to reduce conflicts over religious harmony. This can be achieved by promoting interfaith dialogue, encouraging mutual respect, and fostering a culture of tolerance and acceptance.

Humanist Strategy: Solutions to Overcoming Religious Discrimination in the Baduy


The Baduy tribe is one of the indigenous tribes in Indonesia that resides in the province of Banten. They are known for their strict adherence to "pikukuh karuhun" or ancestral traditions, which has led to a closed social life. The tribe is known to be very strict in maintaining its customs, such as rejecting all forms of modernization, not using modern equipment, rejecting all types of transportation, and rejecting all information and communication media (Kompas, 2022).

The Baduy tribe is divided into three groups: Inner Baduy (Tangtu), Outer Baduy (Panamping), and Dangka Baduy (Hakiki, 2015). Over the past 40 years, the Baduy group has experienced significant changes, with some people embracing Islam and receiving religion and general education (Dahlan, 2019). This group is now known as Baduy Muslims. Baduy Muslims come from the Outer Baduy group and study the Islamic religion when interacting with communities whose territory borders the Outer Baduy area. According to Kiai Baijuri, the Chair of the Religious Harmony Forum (FKUB) of Lebak Regency, the reason why the outside community was able to accept Islam is because the method of preaching used by the surrounding community is gentle, not violent and coercive (Repbulika, 2021). This shows that the application of humanist Islamic preaching strategies is much more easily accepted by the Baduy community.

The humanist preaching strategy was taught by the Islamic religion long ago in spreading Islam in the archipelago, especially on the island of Java, by Walisongo. Walisongo was a brilliant educational figure and pioneer who began his preaching by first understanding Javanese society and culture. The humanist strategy they used in preaching was to use educational creativity, art, and other means. In fact, Walisongo was also the first person to combine Hindu, Buddhist, Chinese, and even European architectural styles when building a mosque (Darmawan, 2022). This humanist approach provided a view to society that Islam is a tolerant religion and still appreciates the local culture that has existed for a long time. In the end, this encouraged the Javanese people to embrace Islam.

So far, the government has been making efforts to reduce religious discrimination against the Badui tribe by providing multicultural education (Laili, 2019), which is considered quite sensitive. However, this approach is contrary to their customs, which prohibit them from receiving education. Therefore, a humanist approach would be more suitable to be applied. Moreover, some of the foreign Baduy tribes have embraced Islam and have a more open mind. This can facilitate communication between the government and the Baduy community.

Another example of the efforts to reduce religious discrimination against the Badui tribe is the Baznas Mualaf Center (MCB), which is slowly approaching Badui Muslims by providing facilities such as coaching, training, and empowerment programs. These programs focus on increasing the understanding of religion and building the welfare of Muslims through economic independence. In addition to religious matters, MCB also provides educational facilities such as reading and writing, learning Indonesian, English, Arabic, and skills in the field of Information Technology for children and teenagers (Republika, 2021). The government can work together with MCB to reduce religious discrimination against the Baduy tribe. Based on the available evidence, a humanist approach is the most effective solution and is much easier to accept.

Since there are religious differences between the outer and inner Baduy tribes, where some of the people have embraced Islam and others still adhere to the Wiwitan Islamic religion, it turns out that this makes them live in harmony and harmony, they respect each other in every interaction and do not attack each other in any way. whatever. On the other hand, the Baduy tribe has a strong principle that they should not be divided just because of different status or beliefs. Thus, it is time for the government to slowly implement humanist strategies to solve the problem of religious discrimination in the Baduy tribe.


Religious discrimination can damage community relations and encourage conflict between religious communities. The discrimination that has occurred against the Baduy tribe has been going on for quite a long time and has not ended to this day. The customary prohibitions that serve as a way of life for the Baduy tribe are a challenge for the government to resolve this problem. One solution that needs to be implemented is for the government to use humanist strategies that do not disturb their customs and guidelines. In this way, they feel they have received their rights and slowly the problem of religious discrimination can be resolved properly.


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