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mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
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» 09/17/2010
INDONESIA
Jakarta to review laws on religious freedom to guarantee Christian rights
by Mathias Hariyadi
The authorities announce changes to a joint ministerial decree ((nº8 of 2006 and nº9 of 2009) after minorities engage in protest following the latest violent episodes against the Christian community. West Java governor pledges a “permanent” place of worship for the HKBP Church and its members.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Indonesian authorities will review the laws that regulate freedom of religion in the country. They will especially vet a controversial joint ministerial decree (nº8 of 2006 and nº9 of 2009), Senior Minister for Legal, Political and Security Affairs Djoko Suyanto said at the end of day marked by street protests and a torchlight procession against recent anti-Christian violence.

“The existing decree will be revised,” Djoko Suyanto said. In its existing form, it delegates the power to issue building permits for places of worship to individual regencies (districts). This has led to discrimination towards Christians who face increasing difficulties when they apply because the law is enforced by local authorities, often controlled by Muslim extremists. Muslims, on the other hand, do not face such problems.

The debate over religious freedom in Indonesia was revived by recent episodes of anti-Christian violence. Last Monday, unknown assailants stabbed Rev Afian Sihombing, a Protestant clergyman who heads a Protestant community in East Pondonk Bekasi Regency. He was attacked along with Rev Luspida Simanjutak, head of the Huria Batak Kristen Protestan (HKBP). She too was injured, to the face, the head and the back.

Yesterday, hundreds of human rights activists took part in a torchlight procession, spontaneously joined by thousands of people.

Inavah Wahid, daughter of the late President Abdurrahman Wahid, said, “We are all one nation and we strongly and endlessly struggle for the unity of the nation.”  Now, events show that the “situation is getting worse” and that “the state appears to be powerless and unable to perform its duties.”

In order to defuse tensions that are mounting in some sectors of civil society, West Java Governor Ahmad Heryawan told HKBP members that they would have a “permanent” place to worship.

Bekasi Mayor Mochtar Muhammad said that city hall would provide them with two possible venues for their Church: a 2.500 m2 lot owned by the city administration or a 2,000 m2 lot owned by a private company that the city would buy for the Church. This way, according to the mayor, “security would be guaranteed.”


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See also
09/15/2010 INDONESIA
Muslim leader detained in anti-Christian attack
by Mathias Hariyadi
09/14/2010 INDONESIA
Muslim organisations condemn attack against Protestant clergyman
by Mathias Hariyadi
09/13/2010 INDONESIA
Protestant pastor stabbed, religious freedom attacked
by Mathias Hariyadi
08/19/2010 INDONESIA
Bekasi Christians not intimidated by pressures from Islamic extremists
07/29/2010 INDONESIA
Christians in Bekasi forced to celebrate in the open air under police protection
by Mathias Hariyadi

Editor's choices
ITALY - IRAQ
After raising € 350,000, 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' campaign continues
by Bernardo CervelleraDonations raised up to 31 August have been sent to the patriarch of Baghdad and the bishops of Kurdistan. The campaign helps to feed, house, clothe, and bring comfort to more than 150,000 Christian, Yazidi, Turkmen, Shia and Sunni refugees who fled the violence of the army of the Islamic Caliphate. People in Italy and around the world have been generous, including the poor and the unemployed, a sign of hope for the world as well as those who suffer and those who give.
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.

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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