ASIA/INDONESIA - Politics: "Yudhoyono has to act more to put an end to religious intolerance"
Jakarta (Agenzia Fides) - The Presidential Adviser for Human Rights, Albert Hasibuan, asked the Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, to be more decisive with his subordinates, including local and regional leaders, "in resolving discrimination and cases of persecution against religious minorities." As learned by Fides, the official position of the Adviser, comes after the controversy triggered in the country on the theme of intolerance and responsibilities of the president. Yudhoyono was called to receive in the United States the prestigious award for religious tolerance, awarded by the "Appeal of Conscience Foundation" (ACF). Next to the numerous interventions published by commentators, intellectuals and politicians, in recent days the Jesuit Fr. Franz Magnis-Suseno SJ, one of the leading scholars of inter-religious dialogue in Indonesia, wrote an open letter to the Foundation protesting vigorously and indicating that Yudhoyono is among those responsible for the climate of intolerance prevailing in the country (see Fides 23/05/2013).
As reported to Fides, Albert Hasibuan has recently submitted a report to the President on the growing number of cases of intolerance. The report states that police officers and regional leaders have not worked seriously to resolve such cases. According to the Director, " the President’s orders have been ignored. I think the president should act more decisively otherwise these cases will continue and this is dangerous for the nation."
Among the incidents reported in the Report: Hundreds of displaced Shiites in Sampang (East Java), who took refuge in a sports hall, after suffering violent attacks; the closure of the church and intimidation to the Christian community Bekasi, in the metropolitan area of Jakarta, and the forced closure of the Yasmin Church in Bogor by the city administration, as opposed to a judgment of the Supreme Court; the recent attack on a village of the Ahmadi community in Tasikmalaya in West Java. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 29/05/2013)
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