» 10/21/2009, 00.00
Padang: earthquake strikes economy, putting 200,000 jobs at risk
The Indonesian government allocates almost US$ 700 million to reconstruction, but calls on local authorities to collaborate in the rebuilding efforts. Tourist sector is on its knees because of collapsed hotels, stores and shopping malls. Chamber of Commerce chairman wants the earthquake to be declared a “national disasters.”
Small theocratic fiefdoms emerging in Bogor and Padang
The leader of the “heretical” sect al-Qiyadah surrenders to police. Debate inflames opinions in Indonesia. Some Indonesians fear the growing influence exercised by Muslim religious leaders on public life and warn against small “theocratic fiefdoms.” Police actions against the sect have in fact been carried out without input from proper civilian and judicial authorities.
Newborns, children, most forgotten victims of Java quake
Aid is arriving slowly: milk and clothes for child survivors are lacking. Tents available are still very few: survivors are sleeping under the trees in graveyards, along roads in makeshift shelters or in animal sheds.
Muslim refusal to vaccinate raises diphtheria fears in Aceh and West Sumatra
A low-level outbreak has occurred in the two strongly Muslim provinces on Sumatra Island. Scores of people have become infected; four have died. For years, many Muslims have refused vaccination because of the presence of pig enzymes in vaccines.
Sumatra: announcing the Gospel whilst battling fatigue and extremist threats
Father Dani works with various Catholic communities spread out in remote areas of West Sumatra Province. Christians are targeted by local Muslims, who have carried out violent attacks, including the burning of a house of prayer. At Christmas and Easter, Christian families walk for hours to take part in the Mass, but “we have not lost patience or the desire to pray the Lord,” the priest said.
Authorities in Riau cancel building permits for Catholic church already under construction
The building site was seized on 21 March, and is now surrounded with barbed wire. For Catholics, it is a patent violation of religious freedom since the building committee had all the right papers. Some local Muslim groups claim that signatures were falsified. The local government said it wants to use the site for an agricultural research centre.
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