Stretching across a vast territory, the Indonesian archipelago is home to multiple ethnic and cultural groups. The state officially recognizes six religions: Islam, Catholicism, Buddhism, Protestantism, Hinduism, and Confucianism. The national principle written in the constitution, ‘Bhinneka Tunggal Ika’ means ‘Unity in Diversity’.
In 1945, president Sukarno formulated Pancasila, the Indonesian constitution, a social instrument to unify the different islands while respecting the cultural differences.
Pancasila comprises five principles: belief in one supreme God; humanitarianism; nationalism expressed in the unity of Indonesia; consultative democracy; and social justice.
Therefore, acceptance of others and open mindedness are basic principles in the Indonesian society. Freedom of religion is necessary to social cohesion.