The Baku Bae Movement

A Ward against Prolonged Religious Violence in Post-Conflict Ambon

In: Journal of Law, Religion and State
Yustina Trihoni Nalesti Dewi Soegijapranata Catholic University, Faculty of Law and Communication,

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Jonathan Kwik Soegijapranata Catholic University, Faculty of Law and Communication; University of Amsterdam, Faculty of Law,

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Ethnic and religious plurality is inextricably linked with Ambonese history. The conflict of 1999–2003 disrupted this stability and caused great damage, segregation, and radicalization. Reestablishing peace proved difficult because of complex social, economic, political, and religious factors, and parties struggled to address deep-rooted issues such as intergroup distrust and hatred. The Baku Bae Peace Movement (gbb) was an informal movement with humble beginnings, which quickly developed into a community effort and reignited intergroup fraternity by deploying a series of effective strategies. This article examines the gbb, its key strengths and weaknesses, and the contextual factors that led to its success. The success of the gbb may be attributed to inclusive grassroots participation and the invocation of shared moral values. This article concludes that although the gbb is difficult to replicate elsewhere, its core values can be implemented in other conflict regions to minimize or resolve religious violence, polarization, and fundamentalism.

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