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Muslims support blasphemy case against fellow Muslim

JAKARTA (UCAN): Muslim human rights advocates in Jakarta, Indonesia, have joined growing calls to have hardline Muslim cleric, Rizieq Syihab, charged with blasphemy for insulting Christianity.

Rizieq is the leader of the Islamic Defenders Front and is being accused of mocking Christians during a sermon on Christmas Day in which he is reported to have said, “If God gave birth, then who would be the midwife?”

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More calls for Christian governor’s arrest

JAKARTA (UCAN): About 700,000 people gathered in Jakarta on December 2 to demand the arrest of the Christian governor of the city, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, for blasphemy.

In what became the third and largest rally over a two-month period, people dressed in white packed the National Monument Square and its surrounds from 8.00am onwards.

The president, Joko Widodo, vice president, Jusuf Kalla, and several ministers joined Friday prayers at the protest.

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Matteo Ricci Award to Indonesia

JAKARTA (UCAN): Jesuit Father Franz Magnis-Suseno, a German-born philosophy professor, has been awarded the Matteo Ricci International Prize this year for his commitment to promoting interreligious dialogue in Indonesia.

The Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Catholic University of the Sacred Heart) in Milan, Italy, presented the award on November 21.

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Sharia in Aceh discriminates

JAKARTA (UCAN): Aceh in Indonesia is one of only two places in Asia where Sharia-based bylaws are enforced, but complaints say that they are discriminating, with punishments only being handed out to the poor and weak, while officials or wealthy business people are never being seen to be punished.

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Execution seems okay by president

JAKARTA (SE): Following his debut appearance at the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit held in Vientiane, Laos, on September 5 and 6, the president of The Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, made his first visit as head of state to Indonesia.

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Catholic teacher shot dead in Papua

JAKARTA (AsiaNews): The body of 27-year-old Yuni Yesra Patatang, a Catholic teacher responsible for a youth group ministry, the Orang Muda Katolik, was found on the evening of September 12 in Ilaga in the Puncak Jaya district of the province of Papua in Indonesia.

News of his death was released by the Commission for Youth Ministry of the Indonesian Bishops’ Conference.

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Mosque closure criticised by Church in Indonesia

Jakarta (UCAN): The forced closure of a mosque belonging to the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in the Sukabumi district of West Java in Indonesia on July 26, has drawn criticism from the secretary of the Commission for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the Indonesian Bishops’ Conference,

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What’s the cover up in mass executions?

HONG KONG (SE): As Indonesian government guns were aimed at 14 people found guilty of drug related crimes and their lifeless bodies slumped to the ground at midnight on July 28, Father Antonius Benny Susetyo was asking what the drive to execute aims to cover up.

The secretary of the Setara Institute for Democracy in Jakarta pointed to testimony given by Fredi Budiman, who fell before the guns at the hour where this life morphed into the next.

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Death penalty deprives victims of justice

HONG KONG (SE): In the wake of an announcement by the government in Indonesia that it plans to execute a further 16 convicted drug traffickers after the celebration of Eid’l Fitr, the end of the holy fast of Ramadan, Pope Francis has come out strongly against the death penalty.

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Indonesia set to host two major youth events

VAtican (UCAN): “We hope by having those two big events, we would like to expose that … Catholics are part of the Indonesian people,” Antonius Agus Sriyono, Indonesia’s ambassador to the Holy See said, as the country gears up to host  Indonesian Youth Day, from October 1 to 6 in Manado, and Asian Youth Day from 30 July 30 to 6 August 2017, in Yogyakarta, Vatican Radio reported.

“They have to have tolerance for other religions,” the ambassador said.

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