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”.

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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 […]

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Four-year sentence for Indonesian pastor who evangelised a taxi driver

Four-year sentence for Indonesian pastor who evangelised a taxi driver

A Protestant pastor has been sentenced to four years in prison for religious defamation after discussing Christianity with a Muslim taxi driver in Indonesia, the Jakarta Post reports. The Tangerang District Court in Banten also ordered that Rev. Abraham Ben Moses, 52, pay a fine of 50 million Rupiah (US$3,565) […]

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‘Indonesia’s most important extremist ideologue’ faces death over church bombing

Radical Islamic cleric Aman Abdurrahman tells the court that what happened in Samarinda "violates what I believe about how to behave towards Christians”. (Photo: Hayati Nupus/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

A Muslim cleric alleged to have inspired an attack on a church playground in Indonesia, in which one child was killed and three injured, has denied inciting hatred. Aman Abdurrahman, 46, is facing a possible life sentence or even the death penalty for allegedly masterminding a series of bombings, including […]

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