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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Sharia by-law in Indonesia ‘biased against poor’

Residents of the Indonesian province of Aceh, in north-western Sumatra, have complained that the implementation of Sharia there appears to disproportionately target people of low status. The Islamic criminal code stipulates punishments such as caning for actions outlawed under Sharia, such as homosexual activity, adultery, drinking alcohol, gambling, rape and […]

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Indonesian laws thwart new church plans

Protestant church leaders in Aceh, Indonesia are pushing for consistent application of Islamic law in the province, after the destruction of 10 churches in the last nine months, . Last August, a mob burned down the Pakpak Dairi Christian Protestant Church, killing one person and forcing thousands of Christians to […]

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Indonesian Christians flee violent attacks

A church has been burnt down and another targeted in Indonesia’s Aceh province. Clashes broke out between Muslims and Christians following the arson on 13 October in the world’s most populous Muslim nation. One person was killed and dozens injured, while thousands of Christians fled the province, reports UCA News. […]

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Indonesian Islam to model harmony

The Indonesian Muslim Congress, meeting under new President Joko Widodo, has re-stated that Indonesian Islam could serve as a model, at the international level, to present a “harmonious society” in which Muslims live and work peacefully side by side with believers of other religions. President Widodo said “Indonesia is a […]

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