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

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

Indonesia President blames democracy for ills

Indonesia’s President has blamed rising religious intolerance in the country on democracy. Joko Widodo said democracy has “gone too far” and that “political freedom paved the way for extreme political practices”. Human Rights Watch’s Deputy Director for the Asia region, Phelim Kine, wrote that while Indonesia “unquestionably has a problem . . . Read More