Indonesia enjoys a democratically elected government, yet social pressure on the country’s media to adopt conservative Islamic positions is steadily growing. Observations and an assessment by Andy Budiman
In recent years, we have witnessed a global resurgence in religion. This renaissance of faith came suddenly and took us by surprise. In April 1966, Time Magazine published a title story with the headline “Is God Dead?” At the start of this millennium, The Economist wrote an obituary for God.
Yet the events of 11 September changed everything. We are witnesses to an epochal transformation. Nowadays, religion plays an ever greater role in people’s lives. Religion strikes back!
Take, for example, the case of Nigeria. The country is divided into an Islamic north and a predominantly Christian south. South Korea and Brazil have experienced the rapid growth of the Pentecostal movement. The former Yugoslavia is fragmented into the mainly Muslim countries of Bosnia and Kosovo, the Orthodox Christian Serbia, and Catholic Croatia. In secular Turkey, the conservative Islamic AK party currently holds power. In Thailand, monks are demanding that the government institute Buddhism as the official state religion.