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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Indonesian churches remain closed

Indonesian churches remain closed

Four churches in Indonesia remain closed two months after local officials yielded to the demands of protesting Muslim hardliners. The Indonesian Full Gospel Church, Pentecostal Movement Church, Indonesian Bethel Church and Christian New Covenant Church, which belong to the Cianjur regency of West Java, were closed on Dec. 8 following […]

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Court case hangs over Indonesian pastor

Court case hangs over Indonesian pastor

An Indonesian pastor remains in a tortured psychological state as a legal case against him lingers on. Palti Panjaitan, who runs the HKBP Filadelfia church in the village of Jejalen Jaya, east of Bekasi, was accused by an Islamic leader of assaulting him on Christmas Eve of last year. The […]

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Indonesian pastor freed

Pastor Bernard Maukar has been released from prison. The Indonesia Pentecostal Church leader from Mekargalih village in West Java was jailed for three months in January for operating a church without a permit. Maukar denied the charges against him, but later told Open Doors International – an organisation that supports […]

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Church walls go up, then torn down by local government

Church walls go up, then torn down by local government

Cheers went up as a backhoe tore down the barely finished walls of the Batak Protestant Church near Jakarta, Indonesia on Thursday. The pile of rubble that remained was only the latest setback to Christians trying to retain a toehold in the world’s most populous Muslim country. The church, in […]

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Uptick in church closures, attacks in Indonesia

Uptick in church closures, attacks in Indonesia

The number of violations of Christians’ religious rights in Indonesia reached 40 in the first five months of the year, nearly two-thirds the amount of anti-Christian actions in all of last year, according to the Jakarta Christian Communication Forum. The Christian minority in Indonesia faced 64 cases of violations of […]

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