25 February 2018
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas

  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  •    - Brunei
  •    - Cambodia
  •    - East Timor
  •    - Indonesia
  •    - Laos
  •    - Malaysia
  •    - Myanmar
  •    - Philippines
  •    - Singapore
  •    - Thailand
  •    - Vietnam
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia

  • » 05/12/2017, 17.18


    More than 7,000 Muslims, Hindus, and Christians gathered in Bali to pray for Ahok

    Emiliana Saptaningsih

    Protesters came from different parts of the country and the world. For organiser Didi Kurniawan, "We are gathered here as one family” because Ahok is victim of “a grave injustice”. People are motivated by a desire to defend Indonesia’s pluralism.

    Bali (AsiaNews) – Large-scale demonstrations continue across Indonesia in solidarity with Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, who is currently in custody after a court in the capital sentenced him to a two-year jail term on Tuesday.

    In Denpasar, the capital of Bali, a large crowd of more than 7,000 people took to the streets last night, converging on Puputan Niti Mandala Square, one of the city’s main open venues for a prayer meeting in support of the jailed Christian political leader.

    Protesters came from different parts of the country wearing black and holding a lit candle. Several foreigners were present. "Black symbolises the death of the rule of law and the candle represents light in the darkness of injustice in Indonesia," an organiser told AsiaNews.

    "We are gathered here as a single family, not for a religious question,” said Didi Kurniawan. “We are here because we followed Ahok’s trial; his conviction is a grave injustice. We are here to defend truth, justice and honesty against corruption."

    The rally began with prayers followed by the Indonesian national anthem. The enthusiasm grew as the rally’s presenter invited participants to defend Pancasila, the theory of pluralism on which the Indonesian state is founded. The crowd repeatedly shouted: "Freedom for Ahok, punish Rizieq”, the head of the Islam defence Front (FPI), currently on trial for contempt of Pancasila.

    The event was open to anyone who supports not only Ahok but justice above all. Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Protestants, and Catholics, people from different religious backgrounds attended. Seniors, young people and even children come to the prayer rally. Together they sang traditional songs about unity in diversity.

    In addition to candles, many protesters carried banners with pro-Ahok slogans. However, rally organisers banned them, reminding the crowd that the purpose of the gathering was to pray for Ahok and say no to injustice.

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version

    See also

    22/07/2004 CHINA
    China tops world in censuring religious websites

    Access to AsiaNews also blocked

    24/06/2004 RUSSIA
    Freedom of expression on trial

    Press freedom under siege, Filipino journalists says

    19/05/2010 PAKISTAN – ISLAM
    Facebook blocked by blasphemy regulations
    A judge blocks the social networking website until 31 May because some users organised a competition for Muhammad caricatures. Under Pakistani law, blasphemy can include the death penalty. Account creators say extremists cannot “take away our freedom of speech”.

    24/03/2016 09:17:00 CHINA
    Zhang Kai, lawyer who defends China’s crosses from demolition, is released

    After appearing on television to "confess his crimes" and spending six months under "house arrest", the lawyer was released. Together with activists for civil liberties, he defended the Christian churches against Zhejiang province authorities.

    Editor's choices

    Snehonir, the 'house of tenderness' for the disabled (photos)

    Founded 25 years ago by Shanti Rani Sisters and PIME missionaries in Rajshahi, the facility is open to the mentally and physically disabled, deaf, blind, orphans, poor, and abandoned. The guiding principle is to start them in life.

    Defeated on ice, but 'first' in history, joint Korean hockey team players hug

    After losing to Sweden in their last match, the Korean team ends up in seventh place. Players burst into tears at their imminent separation. "Politicians made that executive decision [to have a joint team]. Our players and staff are the ones that made it work,” said the team’s proud Canadian coach. One South Korean athlete hopes the country is proud of them. "It was bigger than hockey."


    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.


    News feed

    Canale RSSRSS channel 


    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®