UK parliamentary group calls out 27 countries for ‘significant’ religious freedom violations

A church in Bartella, a town near the Iraqi city of Mosul, after Islamic State militants left the area in October 2016. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
A “Commentary on the Current State of Freedom of Religion or Belief” presented by a group of British parliamentarians today, 10 December, highlights 27 countries where people’s religious freedom has been denied and abused in the past year. The report, presented by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for International . . . Read More

Indonesia: Christian politician accused of blasphemy for opposing Sharia-based bylaws

Twitter @grace_nat
A young Christian politician has been accused of blasphemy in Indonesia after criticising Sharia-based bylaws, Catholic news agency UCAN reports. Grace Natalie, 36, the chairwoman of the Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI), was reported to police by a conservative Muslim organisation after delivering her speech at her party’s gathering in Tangerang, near . . . Read More

Indonesia: New religious education bill requires registration of Sunday schools

Under the new religious education law churches will also need government approval to hold Sunday school and Bible classes. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Christians in Indonesia are opposing a new religious education bill that will require them to obtain government approval for holding Sunday schools or confirmation classes, reports the Catholic news site UCAN. The draft bill prescribes that these classes can only be offered if there are at least 15 participants and . . . Read More

Non-state actors behind most religious freedom violations in Indonesia – report

Young people join protests against the former Christian Jakarta governor Ahok who was convicted of blasphemy in May last year. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The number of religious freedom violations in Indonesia grew again in 2017 and for the first time non-state actors were the worst offenders, reports the Jakarta Globe. Last year 213 incidents were reported, 4% more than the year before, according to the annual report of the human rights group Wahid . . . Read More

Indonesia’s religious minorities protest against closure of worship places

Indonesia’s religious minorities protest against closure of worship places
Indonesian Christians and Ahmadiyya Muslims gathered together in West Java over the weekend to protest against the closure of several of their places of worship, Catholic news agency UCAN reports. Over 100 people took part in a range of events, including the sharing of personal stories of discrimination. The participants . . . Read More

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