Written By Maurisa Zinira
The diversity of religions and cultures that have become the ancestral heritage of the Indonesian nation is on the verge of fading. Although this diversity continues to be glorified as the treasure of the Indonesian nation, the facts on the ground show otherwise. Adherents of the ancestral (indigenous) religions continue to face persecution and threats even though the Administration and Population Laws have been revised to recognize the adherents administratively.
In Minahasa, a land known for its religious tolerance, the LAROMA (Lalang Rondor Malesung), a community organization, which adheres to the Malesung ancestral religion, is still being persecuted. Since 2016, hate speech has been heard in churches, government events, and even at weddings. This hatred continued to heat up leading to the demolition of Wale Paliusan (a place of worship) by surrounding residents. Now, a year after the tragedy of the persecution, Iswan Sual, the chairman of LAROMA, who spoke at the ICIR (Intersectoral Collaboration for Indigenous Religion) #15 monthly discussion on Thursday, July 13, 2023, noted that discrimination still exists in many forms. Along with two other presenters, Febriani Sumual and Mary Silvita, he discussed the experiences and challenges faced by the community amid the diversity of Minahasa society.