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  The Official Religion

WITH Rabindranath Tagore's visit to the island in 1927, Balinese theologians restored contacts with India and began to align their brand of Hinduism more with Hinduism proper. Monotheism has been particularly emphasized since independence, and following the 1966-67 anti-Communist bloodbath Bali-Hinduism was recognized by the government as one of Indonesia's state religions.

A modern Hindu organization, the Parisada Hindu Dharma Indonesia (PHDI), or Hindu Council of Religious Affairs, is Bali's highest religious body, officially sanctioned by the government to decide all spiritual matters. Through the PHDI, however, Bali-Hinduism has achieved legal, international status.

Since Bali is virtually surrounded by Muslims, some of who are determined to turn Indonesia into an Iran-style theocratic state, the Balinese regard the government's official sanction of their religion as a means of preserving their identity and way of life.

The Balinese have further legitimized their religion by aligning it with the discoveries of modern science and by formulating their own independent canon, Panca Sradha.

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