The Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI) in East Java has told a carpenter whose name means God to change his moniker or risk being denied social services.
A photo of an identity card belonging to a 42-year-old man called simply Tuhan, the Indonesian word for God, was widely shared on the internet last week, with a caption: “God does exist.”
The chief of the provincial MUI branch, Abdussomad Bukhori, urged Tuhan to change his name or add the prefix Abdu so that his name would translate as “Servant of God.”
“We suggest the name change to avoid an interpretation that could lead to idolatry,” Abdussomad was quoted as saying by Tempo.co news website.
“Besides, the name Tuhan is unseemly from a religious point of view,” he reportedly said.
He urged authorities to suspend Tuhan’s identity card and deny him social services until he changed his name.
The man, from Banyuwangi district, said he did not know why his parents named him Tuhan and wondered why it had only become controversial now, according to Tempo.co.