IL News 026/2019
Jakarta, November 25th, 2019.

Topic of the second session of scoping workshop was “Religious Freedom and Business”. First speaker shared his experiences and views on the issue of religious freedom in business context. “Challenges of religious freedom in politics also occur in business. Radical movement is fast, but the government movement is slow” he said.

Second speaker went on to state that they are trying to get the best human resources (HR) through recruitment process. This process is a kind of initial filter to prevent intolerance in the company. The company values human rights – which is one of the values inherent in the company – so they must be prudent in organizing places of worship in the company. He also explained the efforts made by the company to build a spirit of diversity within the company, including his expectation that challenges in religious freedom would not interfere with productivity because, in the end, who would feel the impact would be tens of thousands of employees.

Last speaker closed his presentation by explaining that diversity – in terms of age, gender, and LGBTQ – is something that can be recognized, even celebrated in his company. There are 13 elements of diversity admitted by the company, but none of them mentions the element of religion. Discussing religious issues is like opening Pandora box. In order to respond to this, a special attention is needed. Finally, in order to maintain harmony, things that are considered to be disturbing harmony will be ignored.

The discussion forum recognizes the need to build public awareness to commercialization in the name of religion, as well as collaboration with moderate institutions in strengthening diversity.

(Also read: Description of the next session, “Religious Freedom and Higher Education“)