Religious Inequalities and Inclusive Development in Southeast Asian Communities

Ms. Maria Indira Aryani3

3Universitas Pembangunan Nasional “Veteran” Jawa Timur, Surabaya, Indonesia

Religious inequalities are a way in which individuals and societies face systemic marginalization because of their religious beliefs and affiliation. Several communities and societies in the Southeast Asian region have been suffering from this form of discrimination lately. The case of Rohingya community in Myanmar, Christian and non-Sunni Moslem community in Indonesia, and church bombings in the Philippines are few examples. With the growing religious inequalities in the region, it is feared that the religious freedom in Southeast Asia is declining when each of its members should uphold the freedom of religious practiced constitutionalized by law. Cases of religious inequalities often time intersect with other conflict identifiers, such as ethnicity and poverty. In order to eliminate religious inequalities amongst Southeast Asian communities and societies, inclusive development is needed as a poverty reduction mechanism. Poverty reduction could not be focused solely on economic growth but also on religious interests and empowerment with the rise of religious adherence.


Maria Indira Aryani is a lecturer of International Relations Department Universitas Pembangunan Nasional “Veteran” Jawa Timur, Indonesia since 2013. Her research interests are in the fields of international political economy, diplomacy and the Holy See. She was an alumnus of Study in the United States Institute on United States Foreign Policy 2014 and the Taiwan Fellowship 2017. She was recipient of various research grants from the The Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education of Indonesia.


The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

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