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

UN calls for abolition of death penalty for blasphemy and apostasy

During protests against Jakarta's Christian former governor Ahok for alleged blasphemy, some protestors called for the death penalty.  Blasphemy is a criminal offence in Indonesia and carries a penalty of up to five years in jail. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The UN Human Rights Council last week passed a new resolution, demanding the abolition of the death penalty for apostasy and blasphemy. The resolution called on UN member states that still have the death penalty to, among other things, “ensure that it is not imposed as a sanction for specific . . . 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: 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

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

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

Widespread condemnation for prison sentence of Ahok

The sentencing of Jakarta's Christian Governor to prison on blasphemy charges, focuses the spotlight again on Indonesia's controversial Blasphemy Law.
Tuesday’s verdict of an Indonesian court, sentencing Jakarta’s outgoing governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known as ‘Ahok’, to two years in prison for blasphemy, has received widespread condemnation globally as politicians, academics and rights groups express their concern about religious pluralism in Indonesia. Ahok, the capital’s first Christian and ethnic governor since the . . . Read More