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Muslims offer help to Indonesia’s Catholic choristers

JAKARTA (UCAN): Muslims on the Moluccas Islands are offering their homes to thousands of Catholics participating in Indonesia’s first National Catholic Choir Festival if they need a place to stay, according to a prominent local Muslim leader.
 
More than 7,000 Catholics from all the country’s 34 provinces are descending on Ambon, the capital of Maluku province, to take part in the festival, or Pesparani, which begins on October 27.  
 

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Arrests in Instagram baby-selling ring case

JAKARTA (UCAN): Police in Surabaya, Indonesia’s second-largest city, have made four arrests after breaking up an alleged baby-selling ring run from an Instagram account.
The account claimed to be linked to the Family Welfare Institute and a Facebook group called the Child Care Foundation, according to local media reports.
 
The account holder identified himself as “AP” and said he was a 29-year-old man helping find solutions to family problems.
 

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Anger over maids for sale ads in Singapore

JAKARTA (UCAN): Advocates campaigning for migrant worker rights have voiced outrage after an advert was recently posted on Carousell, a Singapore-based online marketplace showing the profiles of several female domestic workers believed to be Indonesian. Some profiles were even marked “sold.”
 
Nusron Wahid, head of an Indonesian government agency dealing with the placement and protection of migrant workers, told reporters on September 18 that an official letter had been sent to the Singaporean government demanding thorough investigation.

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Indonesian priest actively confronts human traffickers

JAKARTA (UCAN): Fighting human trafficking has become a daily routine over the past five years for Father Chrisanctus Paschalis Saturnus, from Indonesia’s Pangkal-Pinang Diocese.
 
Working in Batam— a transit hub for illegal workers in Riau Islands province, about 32 kilometres south of Singapore—makes human trafficking concerns part of the priest’s daily regimen. They are also the diocese’s main priority.
 

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Quake aid workers warned against proselytising

JAKARTA (UCAN): Indonesia’s religious affairs minister, Lukman Hakim Saifuddin, warned volunteers from religious-based organisations offering aid to survivors of deadly earthquakes that recently struck the tourist island of Lombok, against proselytising. The region was hit by three powerful quakes on July 29, August 5, and August 19, killing hundreds of people and displacing thousands more.
 
The September 3 warning came after a video, purportedly showing aid workers allegedly proselytising among child survivors, went viral on social media.

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Appeal to Catholics to protect Indonesian diversity

JAKARTA (UCAN): Indonesia’s president, Joko Widodo, paid his first visit as head-of-state to the headquarters of the Bishops’ Conference of Indonesia in Jakarta, on August 24, to improve ties and to stress the need for religious institutions to preserve and maintain diversity within the nation.
 
The conference’s chairperson, Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo of Jakarta, and its secretary-general, Bishop Antonius Subianto Bunjamin of Bandung in West Java, as well as eight other bishops, welcomed the president.

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Gearing up for the Asian Games in Indonesia

JAKARTA (UCAN): Priest and laypeople in the archdioceses of Jakarta and Palembang in Indonesia, are gearing up to help athletes and officials during the upcoming Asian Games, the second time the country has hosted the sporting event. The last time was in 1962.
 
More than 11,000 athletes from at least 45 countries will participate in the event to be held in Jakarta and Palembang, the capital of South Sumatra, from August 18 to September 2.
 

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Third powerful quake hits Lombok

Jakarta (UCAN): At least 10 people were killed by a 6.9-magnitude earthquake that struck the Indonesian tourist island of Lombok on August 19, less than a month after two earlier quakes killed hundreds (Sunday Examiner, August 12).
 
The earthquake, which also hit nearby Sumbawa island, left a further 24 people injured and damaged more than 150 homes and buildings, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency.
 

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New group set to counter extremism in Indonesia

JAKARTA (UCAN): More than 200 people, including religious leaders including Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo of Jakarta, as well as politicians, attended the August 1 launch of the Said Aqil Siroj Institute in Jakarta, Indonesia.
 

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Deadly quake shakes Indonesian island

JAKARTA (SE): Catholic groups have started to collect aid for thousands of people affected by the deadly 6.4 magnitude earthquake that struck the popular tourist island of Lombok in Indonesia on July 29.
 
The tremor killed at least 16 people, left 355 injured and forced more than 5,100 to flee their homes, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, UCAN reported.
 
The quake also triggered landslides, cutting off hiking trails.
 

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