Two churches were burned and another destroyed Tuesday as thousands of angry Muslims demanded the death sentence for a Christian man convicted of blasphemy against Islam.
Antonius Bawengan was sentenced to five years in prison by a local court in Temanggung, Central Java, for distributing books and literatures that allegedly spread hatred against Islam. The sentence is the maximum penalty for the crime.
The crowd was furious Tuesday with the “mild” verdict and attacked the court while chanting “kill, kill” as Bawengan was led away under heavy security, according to Fides News Agency. more >>
JAKARTA, Indonesia – Violations of Christians’ religious freedom in Indonesia jumped from 12 incidents in 2009 to 75 last year, according to a report from the Setara Institute for Democracy and Peace.
Setara Institute researcher Ismail Hasani said at a press conference last week that 43 incidents involved attacks on churches and other security threats, sealing of worship venues and prohibition of activities, among other violations. Other incidents among the 75 violations included blocking churches from establishing places of worship and banning services and other religious activities.
Those involved in the violations acted primarily as members of community organizations, Hasani said. more >>
Two and a half years after an Islamic attack on a seminary here left hundreds of students without facilities, they are still in temporary shelters and the government has not compensated the loss of eight buildings.
Students from the Arastamar Evangelical Theological Seminary (SETIA) have until the end of this month to leave the Wisma Transito building, and no alternative shelter has been arranged. At the same time, the school is still wrangling with the Jakarta Provincial Government over compensation for eight buildings the government took in Kampung Pulo, Pinang Ranti, East Jakarta.
More than a 100 SETIA students demonstrated in front of Jakarta City Hall on Dec. 14 over compensation for their property that was expected a year ago. They urged officials to pay 7 billion rupiah (US$765,100) immediately so they can buy a school building to accommodate 1,000 students, that have been staying at Wisma Transito and Wisma Daan Mogot shelters in Jakarta. more >>
In a region that is home to nearly half of the world’s poor, missionaries Paul Richardson and his wife, Cynthia, have brought hope and a future, working to provide quality education, shelter and care for a community stricken with abandoned and orphaned children.
As Richardson and his family began to settle down in Compton, Calif., he and his wife received a calling from God and they were led to return to his hometown, a small village on the Island Irian Jaya, Indonesia.
They arrived in the Muslim-majority country to find a generation “as lost as you can imagine.” more >>
JAKARTA, Indonesia (CDN) – About 200 demonstrators from hard-line Islamic organizations in West Java on Sunday (Dec. 12) disrupted the worship of a church in Rancaekek district, Bandung, driving more than 100 worshippers from the building.
Members of the Islamic Defenders Front, the Indonesian Ulama Forum and the Islamic Reformist Movement arrived with the Civil Service Police Unit of Rancaekek district and sealed the house, thus leaving other churches that use it without a worship venue. The protestors also disrupted the worship of six other churches meeting in homes the same day.
The demonstrators arrived at 9 a.m., when the Huria Kristen Batak Protestant (of HKBP) Bethania church building had begun worship in the building where a pastor and his family live. The protestors urged the local government to seal the building immediately because it was a private house rather than registered as a place of worship. more >>
A recent series of attacks aimed at churches has prompted Indonesian National Police to employ heightened security measures for the Christmas and New Year holidays, police spokesman Iskandar Hasan told reporters on Wednesday.
The statement followed an incident on the same day when shots were fired through the windows of the Muria Christian Church, a member of the Mennonite World Conference, in the city of Surakarta, Central Java.
Not far from the area, two homemade bombs were also discovered near churches. One exploded without casualties, and the other was found and defused. more >>