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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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Indonesia takes softer approach with drug users

JAKARTA (UCAN): Church leaders and activists in Indonesia welcomed what they think is a possible softening in the government’s hardline drug policy after the anti-narcotics agency said it would push for drug users to be rehabilitated rather than imprisoned.
 
The move was announced on June 26 when the Indonesia National Narcotics Agency (BNN) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) agreed on June 26, the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, to boost cooperation in rehabilitation efforts for drug addicts.

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Death sentence for Indonesian terrorist mastermind

JAKARTA (UCAN): The South Jakarta District Court in Indonesia sentenced Aman Abdurrahman, a Muslim cleric, to death for a series planning a deadly series of attacks in Indonesia, including a bomb attack and shootout in Jakarta in January 2016 that killed eight people and an attack against the Batak Society Christian Church of Oikumene in Samarinda, East Kalimantan in November 2017 that killed four people.
 
Abdurrahman is the founder of a local terror group called Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), which pledged allegiance to the so-called Islamic State.

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Indonesian Churches help ferry tragedy victims

JAKARTA (UCAN): Catholic and Protestant Churches in Indonesia have rushed to provide assistance and counselling for survivors and families of those killed or presumed dead after an overloaded ferry capsized in Lake Toba, North Sumatra, on June 18.
 

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Environmental concerns centre stage in elections

JAKARTA (UCAN): “People should vote for candidates who care for the environment and are serious about tackling ecological problems,” said Kisworo Dwi Cahyono, executive director of the provincial branch of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (WALHI), as environmental concerns took centre stage in regional elections in South Kalimantan, Indonesia, when it emerged that the vast majority of mining and palm oil businesses in the province flout environmental laws.
 

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Jakarta seeks Catholic allies against radicalism

JAKARTA (UCAN): “What is happening scares me. I have just read (an) article about a young girl who became radicalised by learning about extreme Islamic teachings from the Internet,” Indonesia’s presidential chief of staff, Moeldoko, told the Association of Indonesian Catholic Intellectuals (ISKA) during a gathering to mark of its 60th anniversary on May 30 in Jakarta.
 

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