Study of Indonesia as a Paragon of Tolerance in Religion using ISKCON as a Test Case
Indonesia has been hailed as a &”religiously tolerant” country by many notable figures around the world. Indonesia is a country with about 86% Muslims, 5% Protestants, 3% Catholic, 3% Buddhists and about 2% Hindus. Despite this lopsided percentage, Indonesia’s religions appear to thrive peacefully. Through this project, I intended to find out how and why Indonesia has remained a secular nation. In order to narrow this rather broad project, I used ISKCON (International Society of Krishna Consciousness) as a test case. I used ISKCON as my “nucleus” and observed the “electrons” that revolve around it. ISKCON, a worldwide Krishna movement is quite an atypical religious institution that is “stand-alone” in the whole of Indonesia. Thus, through this project I intended to study the smaller aspect of the relation between the surrounding community and ISKCON and use this narrow learning to find answers to the presence and cause of the religious tolerance in the whole of Indonesia. In order to successfully complete this project, I intended to draw upon my fluent Indonesian, background in Religious Studies (through a class and my past), and my research techniques that I had discussed with my faculty sponsor.