Indonesian president invokes ‘Pancasila’ to counter rising Islamism

webRNSource: Religion News Service

(RNS) — Indonesia’s President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, a moderate Muslim who enjoys widespread support from the country’s minority religious communities, is resurrecting the country’s founding secular ideology, known as “Pancasila,” as he aims to counter the growing forces of Islamism in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation.

Pancasila, a term from old Javanese that roughly translates as “five precepts,” is a set of principles including “belief in the the One and Only God” and has historically been thought to demand respect for the country’s formally recognized religions – Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Confucianism. Promising a unified Indonesia and social justice for all citizens, it has been considered a key to Indonesia’s relative stability since it gained independence from the Netherlands 73 years ago.

It’s also why, many say, Indonesia has never had an expressly Islamic government.

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