» 09/09/2013, 00.00
West Aceh , Protestant pastor and four Christians arrested for proselytizing
The religious police arrest five for trying to convert Muslims in the area. In fact, they ensured education and remedial courses . Not even the head of the Office of Religious Affairs is sure of the charges. Islamic law in force in the province and in the past Protestant Christians have been imprisoned for similar cases.
Jakarta (AsiaNews ) - TheSharia " Police " and security officials in
the district of West Aceh , the Indonesian province where Islamic law is in
force , arrested Pastor Hendri Budi Kusumo and four other people , members of
the Indonesian Mission Evangelist Church
( GMII ) . The
incident occurred last week, but only emerged in the past hours. According to
reports the religious police - in charge of enforcing Islamic rules and customs
- accused the five of "proselytism" , because they were trying to
" convert Muslims to Christianity in the area of Aceh. "
the arrest comes from the Aceh 's office of the Committee for Religious Affairs
local chief officer, Baron Ferryson , said that " they were arrested a few
days ago and charged with trying to influence " the local population. They
were taken by force from their homes, the man added, after rumors spread of
fact, the Christian pastor was providing educational and remedial courses to
the population in order to improve the level of education. And
not even the head of the Committee for Religious Affairs claims to be "sure"
of the allegations.
to local media reports , Hendri Budi Kusumo and the other four men were taken
from their home in the village of Blang Pulo , in the middle of the night . With
them two other people were detained and later identified as "Muslims from
the Aceh area " , because they were in the company of Christians. Some
witnesses add that "there may be other cases of conversion to
similar story occurred in June, when a Protestant pastor and three other
workers were arrested in the district of Bireuen , again in Aceh , for
proselytizing . A
story emerged because an alleged convert identified as Hasbi (a "newly
baptized " in the local language , ed) returned to his village of origin,
and attempted to bring Christianity to his brother Aman Suhardi . The
authorities singled out Pastor Onekesyi Zega and arrested him while he was at
the village of Bener Meriah , in the company of three assistants and carrying
"evidence", which were copies of the Bible in the local language.
is the most populous Muslim nation in the world and, while guaranteeing the
constitutional principles of religious freedom, it is more and more often the
scene of attacks and violence against minorities, whether they are Christians,
Ahmadi Muslims or of other faiths. In the province of Aceh - the only one in
the Archipelago - the Islamic law (sharia) applies and in many other areas the
influence of the Muslim religion in the lives of citizens is becoming more
radical and extreme. In addition, certain rules such as the building permit -
the infamous IMB - are exploited to prevent the building or close Christian
places of worship, as is the case for some time in Bogor regency, West Java,
for the faithful of the Yasmin Church .
Aceh, increasing intolerance against Christians: 17 house churches closed
The Muslim majority province is led by Zaini Abdullah, who has based his political fortune on the "full application" of sharia. Jakarta protests and demands the governor "respect religious plurality," but Christian leaders denounce violence and persecution by the Islamic community.
West Java: denial of religious freedom pushes Christians before the human rights commission
The Protestant community of Bekasi complains about Muslim hard-liners and the authorities’ decision to stop their activities. Christian leader is bitter but hopeful. Interfaith dialogue activist warns that tensions might lead to violence.
Christian politicians against Sharia for non-Muslims
Muslim-based parties have proposed a bill to apply Islamic law to all citizens of the Indonesian province. The proposal comes amid debate aimed at drawing up a new law to govern Aceh following the Helsinki peace accord.
Bekasi, insults and threats from Islamic extremists at a Protestant prayer meeting
More than 500 blocked the entrance to the field where the function was being held. The Huria Protestant Church celebrates in the open because their prayer hall was declared illegal. Thanks to the police, there were no consequences for the faithful.
West Java: Muslim extremists against Christians. Religious services blocked
A crowd of protesters prevented the faithful reaching the church. Similar provocations on Christmas Day and 27 December. The protests provoked by the refusal to issue permission to build places of Christian worship. Activist for peace: the scenario is "worrying."
Card. Tong’s article on China-Holy See dialogue, arouses joy and dismay
The Hong Kong bishop’s optimism over a change in the method of appointing bishops and the function of the Patriotic Association. But it is unclear whether it is real change or just nominal, in words. Underground bishops are patriotic and love their country, but the Party is suspicious of them. Freedom in episcopal appointments is “essential", but the bishops are not free to exercise their ministry. Patriotic bishops controlled in their visits with members of the universal Church. The "bugs" (hidden microphones) in a bishop’s office.
Card. Tong: The future of Sino-Vatican dialogue from an ecclesiological point of view
Card. John Tong
The Hong Kong Cardinal outlines the steps that hope to propel dialogue between China and the Holy See. Themes include the Pope's role in the appointment of bishops; A change of vision in the Patriotic Association; the possible integration of the underground bishops in the Episcopal Conference. A new article by card. John Tong, following a previous article published a few months ago on "Communion of the Church in China with the universal Church."
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