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: religious minorities ‘fearful’ of growing intolerance, says report

The sentencing of Jakarta's Christian Governor to prison on blasphemy charges, focuses the spotlight again on Indonesia's controversial Blasphemy Law.
A new report into religious freedom in Indonesia finds religious minorities are fearful that their country’s reputation as a “tolerant Muslim-majority nation” is being undermined by radical Islam’s growing influence on politics and society. The report by Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) highlights the case of Jakarta’s Christian former governor, Basuki . . . 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

Protests as Indonesia cracks down on ‘groups that threaten state ideology’

An woman in Indonesia's Banda Aceh gets caning in public from an executor known as 'algojo' for spending time with a man who is not her husband, which is against Sharia law on March 20, 2017. Aceh Province is the only place in the Muslim-majority country which implements the strict version of Sharia Law. In a move to stop the rise of radical Islamist groups, the Indonesian government has adopted a law that will make disbanding such groups easier. (Photo: Getty Images)
In a move that has been severely criticised by civil society organisations, Indonesia on 10 July introduced a new law that allows the government to disband certain groups that threaten the state’s secular ideology. The law comes at a time when Indonesia is facing the increasing influence of hardline Islamist . . . Read More

G20 ‘missed opportunity’ to tackle major global issue: religious freedom

G20 ‘missed opportunity’ to tackle major global issue: religious freedom
By not discussing international religious freedom at the G20 summit in Germany last weekend, world leaders failed to address the root cause of major global issues like the migrant crisis, says David Curry, CEO of Open Doors USA. As a result, “we can expect more violence from religious intolerance, a . . . 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

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 . . . Read More

Jakarta’s Christian governor reveals repeated sectarian attacks at trial testing Indonesia’s pluralism

Jakarta’s Christian governor reveals repeated sectarian attacks at trial testing Indonesia’s pluralism
The Indonesian Christian governor on trial for blasphemy said yesterday (4 April) that he has been the target of racist and religious attacks since he was elected to public office in 2005. Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (better known as “Ahok”), the governor of Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, also reiterated to the court . . . Read More

Concerns about tolerant Indonesia: 3 more churches closed

Church members of the Indonesian Christian Church (GKI) of Yasmin Bogor and the Batak Christian Church (HKBP) of Filadelfia Bekasi, along with inter-faith human rights activists and students of the Jakarta Art Institute, held the 100th open-air Sunday Service in front of State Palace in September 2015 after their church buildings were sealed in 2010. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Indonesian authorities in Bogor, West Java, have banned three churches from holding religious activities. According to UCANews the Methodist Church Indonesia, Huria Batak Protestant Church and a house used by Catholics for catechism classes were ordered to close their doors. Local authorities said they could not guarantee the safety of the . . . Read More

Islam to overtake Christianity as world’s largest religion by 2070?

Islam to overtake Christianity as world’s largest religion by 2070?
Islam is the world’s second-largest religion, after Christianity, but this could change if current demographic trends continue, as Islam would overtake Christianity by 2070, reports the BBC. New reporting from the US-based Pew Research Center shows that Islam is the fastest growing major religion. The reason, it says, is simply . . . Read More