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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
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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