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» 05/17/2013 09:37
INDONESIA
Indonesian President named for religious freedom prize. Anger and indignation of minorities
by Mathias Hariyadi
In late May in New York Yudhoyono will receive the World Statesman Award from the Appeal of Conscience Foundation (ACF). The recognition for the protection of minority rights and freedom of worship. Indonesian Jesuit: he has never done anything to protect the rights in a country at risk of Islamization.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Catholic leaders, civil society and prominent figures of science and faith in Indonesia are protesting against the choice of an American foundation to reward President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono for the promotion of interreligious dialogue. Philosopher and Jesuit priest Fr. Franz Magnis Suseno has sent a letter to the Appeal of Conscience Foundation (ACF), based in New York, criticizing the choice to grant the World Statesman Award to the Indonesian head of state. There have been a series of protests and demonstrations against the award, which will be given to a politician who - in reality - has done very little to ensure interfaith harmony and protect minorities.


Fr. Suseno points out that "during the eight-and-a-half years of his presidency, Yudhoyono has never told Indonesians to respect minority rights. He obviously does nothing to protect minority groups." As a result, he adds, it can be said that "no one has ever done anything concrete" to protect them. In the letter addressed to the leaders of the New York-based foundation, founded by Rabbi Arthur Schneier in 1965, he recalls the drama of hundreds of Shiites and Ahmadis expelled from their areas or killed because they were considered heretics in a nation that is overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim.

The Jesuit priest also asks with concern "will Indonesia's condition worsen and eventually become like Pakistan and Iraq, where Shiites are killed every month for religious motivations for sectarian reasons." And finally he adds the daily problems experienced by Indonesian Christians, from obtaining building permits to build places of worship to small episodes and discrimination cases. "Intolerance - he concludes - is rooted in the depths" of society.

The award ceremony is scheduled for the end of May, although the associations for human rights and civil society members promise to continue the battle for its cancellation. On May 6 there was a demonstration in the streets of Jakarta, where the participants tried to deliver a "petition" to the U.S. Embassy calling for the withdrawal of approval. "We have been the subject of repeated violence - recalls the Shiite leader Emilia Az J. Rakhmat - I just can not understand how they can reward [Yudhoyono] ".

 


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See also
05/20/2013 INDONESIA
As fresh anti-Ahmadi violence breaks out, presidential spokesperson says Yudhoyono protects religious freedom
by Mathias Hariyadi
09/07/2005 INDONESIA
Christians fear attacks in the workplace
by Moerkekaq Senggotro
09/06/2005 INDONESIA
Three Christian women jailed for 'proselytising'
10/22/2004 INDONESIA
Former Indonesian President defends a Catholic church
by Mathias Hariyadi
05/18/2012 INDONESIA
Muslim extremists throw stones and urine at Bekasi Christians
by Mathias Hariyadi

Editor's choices
SYRIA
I will miss you Fr Frans, you inspired us all, says Syrian Jesuit
by Tony Homsy*A young priest from the Society of Jesus remembers the life and work of Fr Frans van der Lugt, who was killed in Homs after he refused to abandon residents beleaguered by hunger and war. "He gave and continues to give everything for the Church, Syria, and peace. His story and qualities made him an exceptional missionary and witness to the Gospel." Reprinted courtesy of 'The Jesuit Post'.
FRANCE - IRAQ
Chaldean Patriarch on the uncertain future of eastern Christians, a bridge between the West and Islam
by Mar Louis Raphael I SakoThe wars in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan have made things worse for their peoples, especially minorities. As Western policies have been a failure, fundamentalism has grown with the Arab Spring losing out to extremism. Muslim authorities have a role in protecting rights and religious freedom. The presence of Christians in the Middle East is crucial for Muslims.
CHINA - EUROPEAN UNION
Xi Jinping returns home full of deals and silence
by Bernardo CervelleraThe Chinese president signed agreements worth tens of billions of Euros in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium. He also stayed clear of any press conference. At the College of Europe in Bruges, he presented his dream of a new trillion-dollar Silk Road. Yet, he also made it clear that at home, the monopoly of power stays with the Party, squashing any dream for political reform in China. On the Internet, netizens disagree with him.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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