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101 East
The right to pray
Why is the right to freedom of religion not being protected in modern-day Indonesia?
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2011 14:52 GMT

Indonesia has long been proud of its diverse ethnicity, cultures and spiritual beliefs. But recent attacks on minority groups like the Ahmadiyah sect and on Christian churches have critics claiming that religious tolerance is on the decline.

Last month, a mob stoned and beat to death three Ahmadiyah followers in West Java, Indonesia. The Ahmadiyah are a sect who say they are Muslims but who believe their founder was the last prophet rather than Mohammed.

In 2008, the Indonesian government issued a joint ministerial decree that bans the Ahmadiyah from practising their faith in public or spreading the belief.

Critics say a lack of leadership on the issue from the president down offers tacit approval to Islamic hardliners that is fuelling a growing intolerance in parts of the country, particularly of religious minorities.

This week on 101 East we ask what freedom of religion really means in modern-day Indonesia. How is religious freedom being protected in this secular nation?

This 101 East episode can be seen from Thursday, March 3, 2011 at the following times GMT: Thursday: 2230; Friday: 0930; Saturday: 0330; Sunday: 1630.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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