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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Aged four and scarred for life: the children who survived Indonesian church attack

Aged four and scarred for life: the children who survived Indonesian church attack

*Warning: Readers may find images upsetting. Two-year-old Anita Sihotang cannot bear the sound of her father’s motorbike because it reminds her of the noise of the explosion last November, when a petrol bomb was thrown into a church park where children were playing, killing one child and seriously injuring Anita […]

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Jakarta’s Christian ex-governor drops blasphemy appeal ‘for sake of the people’

Jakarta's Christian ex-governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, better known as 'Ahok', with his wife Veronica and son Nicholas cast their votes in Jakarta on April 19, 2017. Ahok announced today not to appeal his two year prison sentence for blasphemy. Photo: Getty Images

Jakarta’s Christian ex-governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (also known as “Ahok”), has withdrawn his appeal against his two-year prison sentence for blasphemy in a controversial case that has challenged religious pluralism in Indonesia, with repeated clashes between Ahok’s supporters and radical Islamic groups. It was for this reason, said Ahok, that […]

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Widespread condemnation for prison sentence of Ahok

The sentencing of Jakarta's Christian Governor to prison on blasphemy charges, focuses the spotlight again on Indonesia's controversial Blasphemy Law.

Tuesday’s verdict of an Indonesian court, sentencing Jakarta’s outgoing governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known as ‘Ahok’, to two years in prison for blasphemy, has received widespread condemnation globally as politicians, academics and rights groups express their concern about religious pluralism in Indonesia. Ahok, the capital’s first Christian and ethnic governor since the […]

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Indonesia’s Christian governor Ahok fails in re-election bid, as ‘blasphemy’ trial continues

Indonesia’s Christian governor Ahok fails in re-election bid, as ‘blasphemy’ trial continues

Preliminary results suggest that Jakarta’s Christian governor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (better known as “Ahok”), has failed in his re-election bid, as his trial for “blasphemy” goes on. Ahok is accused of insulting a Qur’anic verse during a campaign speech. Hard-line Islamist groups have rallied large crowds against him in recent […]

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