Top Indonesia court overturns discriminatory religious law

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesia’s top court on Tuesday overturned a law that denied recognition and legal rights to followers of indigenous faiths in a surprise advance for religious freedom in the world’s most populous Muslim nation.

The Constitutional Court, in a unanimous ruling from its nine-judge panel, said articles in the 2013 Civil Administration Law were discriminatory and violated the principle of equality before the law.

‘‘These articles are not legally binding, as they contradict the 1945 constitution,’’ presiding judge Arief Hidayat told the court.


The 2013 law required followers of faiths not among the six recognized by the government to list one of the official religions on their national identity card or be denied basic rights such as marriage registration and land titles.

The ruling said the law caused injustice to followers of native faiths.