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Timor-Leste exiles with nowhere to go

ATAMBUA (UCAN): Twenty years after having left their homes, many East Timor exiles who became Indonesian citizens are still struggling hard to eke out better lives.
 
Many have not acquired any land of their own to build houses or farms. As a result, they just move around, building huts on land owned by other people, which can be taken from them at any moment.
 
This happened recently to more than 50 people in Leun Tolu, a village in West Timor’s Belu Regency.
 








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Parishes in Jakarta offer livestock for Eid al-Adha

JAKARTA (UCAN): Parishes in the Archdiocese of Jakarta, Indonesia, offered cattle for Eid al-Adha (Festival of the Sacrifice) celebrations to promote brotherhood among Catholics and Muslims in the country’s capital.
 
In all, 42 out of 66 parishes in the archdiocese offered 234 goats and seven cows for the Eid al-Adha, which fell on August 11 this year. The festival commemorates the story of the Abraham, revered by Christians, Jews and Muslims alike, who was willing to sacrifice his only son at God’s command.
 

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Relocation plan a drag on Komodo islanders

JAKARTA (UCAN): Villagers from Indonesia’s famed Komodo Island are resisting an Indonesian government plan to relocate them as part of a purported effort to conserve the giant reptiles known as Komodo dragons. On July 19, hundreds protested in front of local government offices demanding authorities abort the plan.
 
On July 22, dozens of residents voiced their concerns at a meeting with government representatives at West Manggarai district council in Labuan Bajo, on the island of Flores, the gateway to Komodo National Park.
 

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Indonesian lawmakers back pardon for woman in sex-harassment case

JAKARTA (UCAN): Indonesian lawmakers approved granting a pardon to 37-year-old Baiq Nuril Maknun, who was convicted of recording a phone call from her boss to prove he was sexually harassing her.
 
The approval on July 25 followed a recommendation from Indonesian president, Joko Widodo, that she be granted a pardon after the Supreme Court rejected her appeal against her conviction earlier in July, in a decision that many critics said was a miscarriage of justice.
 

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Caritas aids Indonesian drought victims

JAKARTA (UCAN): Tanks of clean water are being rushed to drought-plagued areas of Central Java, Indonesia, by Caritas.
 
“We have formed a network of 47 volunteers and distributed 49 tanks of clean water to six villages in Yogyakarta province’s Gunung Kidul district in coordination with the local government,” Sister Huberta, Caritas’ programme manager for disaster risk reduction in the Archdiocese of Semarang from Caritas said.
 

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Church in Indonesia publishes anti-trafficking guide

JAKARTA (UCAN): The Indonesian bishops’ Commission for Justice and Peace and the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People Catholic Church in Indonesia introduced a Bahasa translation of the Vatican’s anti-human trafficking document, Pastoral Orientations on Human Trafficking, to help people better understand the Church’s stance on the crime and warn others about the danger it poses.
 

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Catholic hospital lifts medical standards in Papua

JAYAPURA (UCAN): Church-run hospitals and clinics, such as Dian Harapan Hospital in Jayapura, in Indonesia’s Papua province, have become vital for many who would otherwise slip through gaping holes in the region’s health care net. A shortage of health facilities and professional health workers remains a long-standing problem despite the increasing clamour for better and more affordable services.
 

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Komodo dragons and Halal tourism a bad fit bishop says

JAKARTA (UCAN): The Catholic Church on the Indonesian island of Flores, gateway to Komodo National Park and its world famous Komodo dragons, rejected the idea of introducing halal (permissible) tourism, a growing trend among Muslims.
 
Authorities in Labuan Bajo, a fishing town on the western side of Flores in Nusa Tenggara, suggested the idea as a way of boosting tourism but Bishop Silvester San, the apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Ruteng, shot it down in a letter dated May 6.
 

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New cathedral for Indonesian archdiocese

JAKARTA (UCAN): The Archdiocese of Samarinda, in Indonesia’s East Kalimantan province inaugurated a new cathedral on April 30.
 
St. Mary of Perpetual Help Cathedral is being hailed as one of the most beautiful buildings in the city, its modern design displays the cultural heritage of ethnic Dayak people, the biggest tribal group in the region.
 

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Outrage in Indonesia over child marriages

JAKARTA (UCAN): Church and rights advocates slammed Indonesia’s religious court for “abusively” granting permission for thousands of underage children to marry after an annual Supreme Court report, released in early April, indicated that 13,251 marriage dispensations were doled out 2018.
 

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