ASIA/INDONESIA - Monday 5 July Indonesia will elect a new president: fears and hopes for a nation balancing between Muslim fundamentalism and democracy

Saturday, 3 July 2004

Jakarta (Fides Service) - Indonesia, the world’s most popular Muslim country, which in recent years started out on the path to democracy, struggling with ferments of dangerous fundamentalism, is about to elect a new president on July 5.
Aware that this is a decisive step in Indonesia’s history because of power relations in South East Asia and international stability, Fides offers background information on Indonesia’s history, politics, and religious situation.
Besides profiles of the candidates for presidency and their programmes, we offer a historical-political analysis explaining possible scenarios opening for the present where old logic of power, economic lobbies and military sectors attempt to regain lost land. Decisive in this scenario, and easily and often subject to exploitation, is the religious factor which, as Fides tries to show here, can always effect the social and political balances of the future.
In this situation the Church in Indonesia, as it can be seen by statements from the country’s Catholic Bishops over the past months published Fides, has always held high the banner of transparency, interreligious dialogue, rejection of all fundamentalism, attention for fair and equal social and economic development in solidarity.
To facilitate the search in Fides Archives we include links to articles on this subject.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 3/7/2004 lines 21 words 238)