Sati (not her real name) is a Hindu living in Jakarta. In 1991, she had to pose as a Muslim when she enrolled in a public elementary school for safety reasons. Consequently, she should attend every hour of the Islamic class and participated in the various activities of Islamic worship such as prayers and reading the Quran. This went on for ten years until she enrolled in senior high school.
At the age of 17, when she applied for the national ID card, her father suggested her to fill Islam in the religion column. At that point, she refused and insisted on becoming her true self, a Hindu — a decision that she regretted later when her sister miserably became a target in a riot involving Muslims and Hindus in South Lampung, Sumatra in 2012. The mobs burnt her sister’s house to ashes, forcing her to flee and hide for weeks. Sati’s sister suffered a miscarriage on the run.
Nowadays, to be a non-Muslim in Indonesia implies the inevitability of a troublesome and unjust daily life. Discrimination against non-Islamic communities has been so prevalent that children are becoming easy targets. The blatant religious discrimination is quite expansive, harming students’ educational rights.
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