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 ‘to guarantee rights of religious minorities’

Wreaths displayed to honor those killed in the suicide bomb attack in the Kampung Melayu bus terminal, East Jakarta on May 24 2017. Indonesia's image of a secular nation is under treat as it faces increased influence of extremist Islamist groups. (Photo: Open Doors International)
Indonesia is drafting a law that will guarantee the rights of religious minorities in the country, according to the head of the country’s Ministry of Religion’s Interfaith Harmony Forum. “The government [currently] only recognises six religions, while more than four million people who follow religions outside of those six are . . . Read More

Indonesia bans Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir

Indonesian Muslims wave Hizb ut-Tahrir’s flag during an anti-government rally in Jakarta on July 18, 2017, to protest against a Presidential Decree that allows the government to ban groups that oppose the country's official state ideology. On Wednesday the government ordered the disbandment of the Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir. (Photo: Getty Images)
The Indonesian government has ordered the disbandment of the Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir “to protect Indonesia’s unity”, according to Freddy Hari, director-general of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, as Al Jazeera reports. The decision follows a controversial presidential decree announced nine days earlier that gives the government more power . . . Read More

Indonesia’s social and political fabric stretched as bombs hit Jakarta

Indonesia’s social and political fabric stretched as bombs hit Jakarta
Churches in Jakarta are on high alert after Indonesia’s capital was the target yesterday (24 May) for two suicide bombers. The attacks killed three policemen based at a bus terminal ahead of policing for a pre-Ramadan parade. Yohanes Bao Keraf, head of security at St Joseph’s church, which is a . . . Read More

Uzbek pastor and family granted asylum in US after 9-year ordeal

Uzbek pastor and family granted asylum in US after 9-year ordeal
Finally, their journey is over. Three years since fleeing Uzbekistan – following four years in a labour camp, house arrest and death threats – Pastor Dmitry Shestakov has arrived in the United States, where he and his family have been granted asylum. It’s been almost 10 years since Shestakov was . . . Read More

‘ISIS on a mission to exterminate Christians’

‘ISIS on a mission to exterminate Christians’
Shiraz Maher, senior research fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation at King’s College London, in a 2015 photo.Morten Brakestad / Stortinget / Flickr CC   The  so-called Islamic State will not stop until it has “exterminated” all other religious groups, according to a former Islamic extremist . . . Read More

Central Asian Christians feel repercussions of governments’ focus on Islamist threat

Central Asian Christians feel repercussions of governments’ focus on Islamist threat
When the three suicide bombers who killed 44 people at Istanbul’s main airport on 28 June were identified as Russian, Uzbek and Kyrgyz nationals, it provided another reminder that the threat from the so-called Islamic State reaches far beyond Syria and Iraq. And nowhere is that threat being taken more . . . Read More

In Malaysia, Christmas decried as ‘ploy’ to lead Muslims astray

In Malaysia, Christmas decried as ‘ploy’ to lead Muslims astray
A billboard in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, appeals to national unity in a February 2014 photo. Rising fundamentalist Islam put increased pressure on minorities in the country’s famously multicultural society during the year.Courtesy Open Doors International   For Malaysian Christians, 2014 has been a year when they had to dig deep . . . Read More

What’s the threat of Islamic State to the Church worldwide?

What’s the threat of Islamic State to the Church worldwide?
While Islamic State is wreaking havoc in Iraq and Syria, its ambitions do not stop there. Moreover, several world leaders are saying it is one of the biggest threats they are facing. But exactly how does Islamic State fit into the global picture of Christians under pressure for their faith . . . Read More