Indonesia’s top court issues circular against interfaith marriage

The top court in Indonesia has come out with a circular requesting courts not to grant a nod to interfaith marriages contradictory to its 1986 ruling, which makes interfaith marriages legal in the Muslim-majority Southeast Asian nation.

In the July 17 circular, Muhammad Syarifuddin, chairman of the Supreme Court, emphasised the need to establish guidelines to “provide certainty and unity in the application of law in adjudicating applications for the registration of marriages between people of different religions and beliefs.”

The Supreme Court stressed that “a valid marriage is a marriage that is carried out according to the laws of each religion and belief” in accordance with the 1974 Marriage Law.

The circular contradicts a 1986 Supreme Court ruling that states interfaith marriages are legal in Indonesia by way of a court order. The order later became the jurisprudence for judges in deciding similar cases.

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