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Indonesia: Leaders call for end religious conflict
Jakarta, 20 Dec. (AKI/Jakarta Post) — Leaders from various religious organisations in Indonesia have demanded that the government clamp down on interreligious conflict.
The groups held an end-of-year conference entitled “Our Threatened Diversity”, organised by the Wahid Institute and the Bishops Council of Indonesia (KWI).
The discussion, at the council’s office in central Jakarta, resulted in five demands and was signed by 30 representatives from 21 religious organizations.
Trisno S. Sutanto, from the Community of Dialogs between Religions, said the religious conflict was so serious now that it required a statement from President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono or Vice President Jusuf Kalla.
“The President must reconfirm (that he is) committed to (protect) every citizen’s right to religious freedom by issuing a statement that guarantees legal protection,” Sutanto said.
Ahmad Duaedy from the Wahid Institute said the government had been doing the opposite.
“The government has allowed and even endorsed violent acts against certain religious groups. The government has failed in providing and protecting our religious freedoms.”
In November, the Indonesian Council of Ulema issued an edict on “heretical” Islamic sects. Since then, the leader of the Al Qiyadah Al Islamiyah sect has been arrested and an Ahmadiyah mosque has been shut down.
Early last month, residents and officials of Tambora in West Jakarta stopped Catholics from holding services in a 40-year-old church located there.