Minority in Politics: The Javanese Christian Church and Post-Ahok Politics

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Abstract

This study focuses on Christian minorities and their response to the rise of Islamic politics in Indonesia following Ahok’s trial for alleged blasphemy. It will be suggested that the case brought against Ahok has changed the attitude of preachers of the Javanese Christian Church or Gereja Kristen Jawa (gkj) towards politics. After Ahok was prosecuted, some gkj preachers have delivered political sermons focusing on calming the churchgoers to prevent them from reacting overtly to the rise of Islamic politics in Indonesia. This indicates that preachers have become more melek politik or politically aware. While the gkj remains distant from the practice of politics, it conducts political education for members of the clergy and the politicians affiliated with the church. Through informal interviews with several gkj preachers and qualitative research, this study has avoided making generalizations. Specifically, differences in the Sunday sermons of the gkj attended by the author as well as other gkj and non-gkj churches that the author visited in 2017–2019 will be analyzed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-278
JournalBandung: Journal of the Global South
Volume7
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sep 2020

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