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06/21/2021 Indonesia (International Christian Concern) – The Indonesian government has announced that their new selection procedure for civil servants will include a test intended to gauge a candidate’s level of respect for other religions and their views on nationalism and national ideology. This test is designed to weed out potential extremists from becoming government employees.

There are more than 4.3 million civil servants in Indonesia. According to the Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Ministry, around 800,000 have been influenced by radical ideology.

The Ministry says that around 40 civil servants are dismissed each month for having connections with radical groups linked to terror organizations, including al-Qaeda and Islamic State affiliate groups.

In 2018, civil servants were arrested for involvement in two suicide bombings at three different churches in Surabaya. As recent as Palm Sunday of this year, civil servants were also arrested for alleged involvement in the bombing of Sacred Heart Cathedral in Makassar.

Selection tests for government employees previously focused on character and intelligence while largely omitting questions about beliefs. Ministry spokesperson Katmoko Ari Sambodo believes that this is why extremism has infiltrated civil service.

The Catholic Church supports the inclusion of this test. “This new test will be important in preventing radicalism in the bureaucracy,” Sambodo said. Father Paulus Christian Siswantoko, executive secretary of the Indonesian bishops’ Commission for the Laity, has vocalized his approval of the test.

“The civil service must be totally free of radicalism,” Father Siswantoko told UCA News. “We want people loyal to national ideology and the expulsion of those who work against it.”

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