ICC Note: Schools in Aceh Singkil regency in Indonesia are putting Christian students in a position to have to take Islamic studies classes in order to fulfill religious studies requirements because schools lack enough Christian studies teachers. While the school system concedes this shortfall, they deny the phenomenon is religious discrimination. A number of Christian parents upset with the shortage are accusing the school system of religious indoctrination into Islam. Indonesia represents the world’s largest Muslim nation and Aceh is the only provice where sharia law is applied.
By Apriadi Gunawan
Christian students at state-run schools in Aceh Singkil regency, Aceh are reportedly studying Islam on account of a lack of Christianity studies teachers.
Boas Tumangger, a parent, said that the Aceh Singkil Education Agency failed to provide Christianity studies teachers despite the high number of Christian students in the regency.
Boas, who said he experienced the same situation as an elementary and junior high school student in Aceh Singkil, said that Christian students were not forced to study Islam.
“There is no Christianity teacher so Christian students joined the Islamic studies class to fulfill their religion course requirement,” Boas told The Jakarta Post, Monday.
He said that Christian students were taught Arabic culture and language during Islamic studies class.