Millah Abraham, also known as Gerakan Fajar Nusantara by its abbreviation Gafatar, is a religious movement with roots in Islam based in Indonesia.[1][2] Founded by Ahmad Mushaddeq,[3] it claims over 50,000 members. It has been persecuted by the Indonesian government, with its founder Mushaddeq sent to prison.[4]

History

Millah Abraham is led by Ahmad Mushaddeq, who in the 1990s began to believe that he was receiving messages from God, and that he was a successor to Muhammad.[4][1] His beliefs became known as Milah Abraham, which accumulated approximately 50,000 followers in Indonesia and Malaysia.[1] Mushaddeq's followers also began a back-to-the-land movement emphasizing organic farming and agrarian self-sufficiency, known as Gafatar.[1]

Persecution

As of 2016 there were more than 7,000 members of Gafatar.[5] Gafatar encouraged its followers to sell their possessions and move to more rural farmland in Borneo, in order to avoid persecution by Indonesian authorities.[1]

In January 2016, the Ministry of Home Affairs of Indonesia banned activities of Gafatar and a mob destroyed the Gafatar compound in West Kalimantan.[6][1] Indonesian authorities detained approximately 7,000 practitioners and began relocation and re-educating them.[1] More than 25 members were charged with blasphemy,[1] and 11 have spent time in prison.[4] While the Constitution of Indonesia guarantees freedom of religion, in practice freedom is extended to only six official religions: Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Confucianism. A police spokesman, told the New York Times that the teachings of Milah Abraham's contradicted those of Indonesia's established religions and so violate the law.[4]

Beliefs

Millah Abraham teaches that the major Abrahamic religions, including Judaism, Christianity and Islam, have been corrupted by humans, necessitating a sequence of new prophets. It claims to be the latest installation of the Abrahamic religions.[1][4] Mushaddeq teaches that "just as Judaism had given way to Christianity, and Christianity to Islam, it was Islam’s turn" to give way to Gafatar, which will "in turn be superseded by a new iteration of Abrahamic faith centuries from now."[4]

Distribution

Its followers are concentrated in West Kalimantan.[7]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Emont, Jon (August 6, 2017). "Why Are There No New Major Religions?". The Atlantic. Retrieved August 6, 2017.
  2. ^ Ross, Ross Kenneth R. (2020-05-01). Christianity in East and Southeast Asia. Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 978-1-4744-5163-5.
  3. ^ World Report 2018: Events of 2017. Seven Stories Press. 2018-01-30. ISBN 978-1-60980-815-0.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Emont, Jon (March 9, 2017). "Indonesia's Sentencing of 'Son of God' Adds to Alarm Over Crackdown". The New York Times.
  5. ^ World Report 2017: Events of 2016. Seven Stories Press. 2017-02-28. ISBN 978-1-60980-735-1.
  6. ^ Setiawan, Ken M. P.; Tomsa, Dirk (2022-03-28). Politics in Contemporary Indonesia: Institutional Change, Policy Challenges and Democratic Decline. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-429-86093-5.
  7. ^ Kingston, Jeff (2019-07-30). The Politics of Religion, Nationalism, and Identity in Asia. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-1-4422-7688-8.