Jakarta. Religious intolerance is likely to remain a serious challenge facing Indonesia this year, as an increasing number of cases has been reported, the National Commission on Human Rights, or Komnas HAM, says.
According to the annual report released by the commission on Tuesday (10/01), the number of cases recorded in 2016 has increased to 97 from 87 a year earlier, and 76 in 2014.
"Old problems have not been settled, while the new ones emerge; a further accumulation is quite possible," Komnas HAM chairman Imdadun Rahmat told the press in Jakarta.
"This will make the issue of religious freedom a serious challenge in 2017. Aside from this, if members of the public avoid talking about these problems, we won't get any closer to resolving them," he added.
Indonesia is the world's largest Muslim-majority country, widely known for its moderate Islam, however, intolerant groups and the state's tardiness in protecting minorities have in the past few years undermined its pluralistic and peaceful religious outlook.