78 images Created 31 Jan 2018
INDONESIA: RELIGIOUS MINORITIES AT RISK
Indonesia, the worlds largest Muslim-majority nation, has had a long tradition of pluralism, religious freedom and inter-religious harmony, and is widely respected around the world for its successful transition from authoritarian rule to democracy. Rising religious intolerance, however, threatens to destroy these achievements and poses a threat not only to the countrys religious minorities, but to all Indonesians who value democracy, human rights, peace and stability. Across the archipelago, a growing number of Christian churches are threatened with closure, or in some instances violently attacked and destroyed, by radical Islamist groups and local authorities. The Ahmadiyya Muslim community also faces serious persecution, with many Ahmadi mosques and followers attacked. In 2012, Shia Muslims faced increasing threats and violence, a Shia cleric was imprisoned on charges of blasphemy, and an atheist was jailed because he publicly declared his disbelief in God. According to the Setara Institute, which publishes annual reports on religious freedom, in 2012 264 incidents were documented, compared with 244 in 2011, 2016 in 2010 and 200 in 2009. Indonesia’s pluralism is increasingly in peril.