Indonesia appoints ‘incisive’ Muslim leader in attempt to combat extremism

The Surabaya Pentecostal Church's front yard and remainders of the gate's canopy after the bomb attack on 13 May in which five people died. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The appointment of one of the Muslim world’s “most incisive and outspoken reformers” to Indonesia’s Presidential Advisory Council signals a shift in how Indonesia is trying to combat extremism, according to religious freedom professor Paul Marshall. In May Indonesia was rocked by a number of suicide bombings orchestrated by Jamaah . . . Read More

Ahok ‘victim of cyber jihad against Indonesian government’

Jakarta's governor arrives in court for his verdict and sentence in his blasphemy trial. Photo: Getty Images
The Christian former governor of Jakarta who was jailed for blasphemy may have been a victim of a sophisticated anti-government campaign of “fake news” and malicious bots. Indonesian police believe they have uncovered a clandestine “fake news” operation designed to destabilise the government and corrupt the political process, the UK’s . . . 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: Jakarta’s new governor urged to protect rights of religious minorities

New Governor of Jakarta, Anies Baswedan and his running mate, the new Vice Governor of Jakarta, Sandiaga Salahudin Uno arrived at Jakarta City Hal for the inauguration ceremony on 16 October 2017. (Photo: Getty Images)
As Jakarta’s new governor, Anies Baswedan, starts his new job, he should use his role “to protect and promote human rights in the Indonesian capital”, writes Human Rights Watch in a letter addressed to him. The rights group urges him to ”use the powers at your disposal to defend the . . . Read More

Indonesia: ‘Saudi influence behind rise in Islamic extremism’, as churches continue to be closed

Thousands of Muslims from across Indonesia joined the Islamic-hardliners in Jakarta to protest against Jakarta’s (former) Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama ('Ahok') on 4 November 2016 for allegedly insulting Islam when citing a Quranic verse. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
“The election and trial of Jakarta’s former governor ‘Ahok’ have exposed increasing radicalization in Indonesia, especially among the young … and it has led to a more aggressive campaign to confront Islamist radicalism,” writes Paul Marshall. In his article for the Lausanne Movement, the Wilson Professor of Religious Freedom at . . . 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

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

Indonesian church closed for years told: you can reopen if mosque allowed on your land

Indonesian church closed for years told: you can reopen if mosque allowed on your land
UPDATE (10 Feb, 2017): An Indonesian church closed for years by order of the local mayor has been told it can reopen if a mosque is also allowed on its premises. The GKI Yasmin Church in Bogor, 60km south of Jakarta, had resorted to holding open-air services outside the Presidential . . . Read More

Extremism inside Indonesia’s largest Islamic group

After Indonesian Christian leaders met the country’s President to plead for action against the country’s Islamic Defenders Front, there are now fears that the largest Islamic organisation in Indonesia may also be becoming increasingly conservative in its views. The Christian leaders told President Joko Widodo that the Islamic Defenders Front . . . Read More