Indonesia is failing to do enough to protect religious minorities from growing intolerance and violence, a report from a rights group says. The New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) says there has been a steady rise in attacks on Christians, Buddhists and Muslim minorities. Many of these were carried out by Islamist militants, it added. HRW said it researched its reportIt included examples of attacks faced by various minority groups.
The report said that “harassment and intimidation of minority communities by militant Islamist groups has been facilitated by the active or passive involvement of Indonesian government officials and security forces”. Those responsible for the attacks received little or no punishment, it says.
Discriminatory regulations – like the blasphemy law, is biased towards officially recognised religions and needs to be revoked.
The government disagrees, and claims that a survey it conducted last year shows religious harmony in the country is strong. Christians, and other minorities do not agree. There have been a number of churches destroyed over the last few months, often under the guise of disputes regarding planning.
Pray for justice and righteousness to prevail in the treatment of all minorities in Indonesia, for voices in the government and civil society who will seek the good of all people, and pray for the Church to seek the good of the nation, even as it under pressure.