Indonesian rights body to release anti-sectarian guidelines ahead of elections

Young people join protests against the former Christian Jakarta governor Ahok who was convicted of blasphemy in May last year. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Indonesia’s Human Rights Commission is to propose guidelines to avoid sectarian clashes in the run-up to next year’s national elections, reports Catholic news site UCAN. Ahead of recent regional elections, some hardline Islamic leaders called on Indonesians to vote only for Muslim candidates. Sectarianism also played a prominent role in . . . Read More

Indonesia church attacker acted alone, police say

Altar of the Stasi Kinali Catholic Church, West-Sumatra, Indonesia, which was attacked in May 2014. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The man accused of injuring four people in an attack on an Indonesian church on Sunday morning (11 February) acted alone and obtained the weapon – a one-metre-long sword – in exchange for his mobile phone, police say. The suspect, a 23-year-old student identified as Suliyono from Bayuwangi in East . . . Read More

Indonesia’s president tells Catholic students to work for ‘harmony’

Catholic students meet in Palmbang, Sumatra, this week. (Photo: Matters India)
Indonesia’s president, Joko Widodo, opened the 30th Catholic students congress in Palembang, on the island of Sumatra, this week by telling them to work together for “peace” and “harmony”. The president told the 3,800 participants that the “Pancasila”, the five principles that make up the state philosophy of the Indonesian . . . Read More

Indonesia church leader charged with blasphemy

Inside a church in Indonesia. Catholic and Protestant bishops have expressed concern about erosion of the national values. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
An Indonesian church leader has been charged with blasphemy – the first case of its kind in the country – and could face five years in prison. Rev. Abraham Ben Moses, 52, was arrested and detained last week in his home town of Tangerang, Java, 25 km west of the capital, . . . 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

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