Friday, January 06, 2012

Indonesia: More intolerance against Christians

Acts of violence and intolerance against Christians in Indonesia nearly doubled in 2011, with an Islamist campaign to close down churches a key factor in the plight of the nation's religious minority.

The Indonesian Protestant Church Union, locally known as PGI, counted 54 acts of violence and other violations against Christians in 2011, up from 30 in 2010.

The number of such incidents against religious minorities in general also grew, from 198 in 2010 to 276 in 2011. But the worst may be yet to come if authorities continue to overlook the threat of extremism, said a representative of a Jakarta-based Muslim organization that promotes tolerance, the Wahid Institute.

Rumadi, who goes by a single name, said the Wahid Institute also observed an attempt to institutionalize intolerance in Indonesia, a nation of about 238 million people of whom about 88 percent are Muslim. At least 36 regulations to ban religious practices deemed deviant from Islam were drafted or implemented in Indonesia in 2011. To read more, click here.

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