Indonesia was once known for its moderate and diverse Islam, but extremism is on the rise. Anger over the perceived “blasphemy” of former Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (better known as “Ahok”), a Chinese Christian, brought more than 200,000 people to the streets in 2016 and eventually led to his imprisonment. In August 2017 the government announced plans to further tighten blasphemy legislation, though a month earlier it ordered the disbandment of Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir “to protect Indonesia’s unity”.

Sort By date
Filter by Tag
Category

Non-state actors behind most religious freedom violations in Indonesia – report

Young people join protests against the former Christian Jakarta governor Ahok who was convicted of blasphemy in May last year. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

The number of religious freedom violations in Indonesia grew again in 2017 and for the first time non-state actors were the worst offenders, reports the Jakarta Globe. Last year 213 incidents were reported, 4% more than the year before, according to the annual report of the human rights group Wahid […]

Read More

Indonesia’s religious minorities protest against closure of worship places

Indonesia’s religious minorities protest against closure of worship places

Indonesian Christians and Ahmadiyya Muslims gathered together in West Java over the weekend to protest against the closure of several of their places of worship, Catholic news agency UCAN reports. Over 100 people took part in a range of events, including the sharing of personal stories of discrimination. The participants […]

Read More

Indonesian rights body to release anti-sectarian guidelines ahead of elections

Young people join protests against the former Christian Jakarta governor Ahok who was convicted of blasphemy in May last year. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

Indonesia’s Human Rights Commission is to propose guidelines to avoid sectarian clashes in the run-up to next year’s national elections, reports Catholic news site UCAN. Ahead of recent regional elections, some hardline Islamic leaders called on Indonesians to vote only for Muslim candidates. Sectarianism also played a prominent role in […]

Read More

Indonesia appoints ‘incisive’ Muslim leader in attempt to combat extremism

The Surabaya Pentecostal Church's front yard and remainders of the gate's canopy after the bomb attack on 13 May in which five people died. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

The appointment of one of the Muslim world’s “most incisive and outspoken reformers” to Indonesia’s Presidential Advisory Council signals a shift in how Indonesia is trying to combat extremism, according to religious freedom professor Paul Marshall. In May Indonesia was rocked by a number of suicide bombings orchestrated by Jamaah […]

Read More

Indonesia: How women and children became agents of terror

Women pray in Blue Mosque in Indonesia's capital Jakarta. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

Terrorism in Indonesia is now carried out by “entire families, including mothers and children”, one local police chief noted, three weeks on from the suicide blasts on three churches and a police station that claimed 27 lives, including 13 attackers. In raids following the series of bomb attacks, Jakarta security […]

Read More

Indonesia approves new anti-terrorism law after Surabaya church bombings

The Surabaya Pentecostal Church's front yard and remainders of the gate's canopy after the bomb attack on 13 May in which five people died. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

Indonesia’s government has approved a new anti-terrorism law that gives police more freedom to carry out preventative arrests and detain terrorist suspects for longer, as reported by AsiaNews. The proposed changes, which had been under discussion for two years, were approved by parliament on Friday, 25 May, just ten days after the […]

Read More