Religious intolerance is growing in Indonesia

Religious intolerance is growing in Indonesia

Indonesia’s positive image of a country where different communities and cultures interact peacefully with each other contrasts heavily with the reality of the past 10 years, reports the Deutsche Welle.

Many of the country’s Christians fear for their lives, as there has been an increase in attacks on religious minorities in recent years.

It’s not just Christians who are under attack in the Muslim-dominated country.

Extremists from Indonesia’s 200 million Sunni Muslims have also been attacking the country’s Muslim minority sects, including the estimated 100,000 Shiites and 400,000 Ahmadiyyas.

The Deutsche Welle says, “according to a poll conducted by Indonesia Tanpa Diskriminasi, almost 25 percent of the Indonesian population accepts acts of violence to protect religious principles.”

Don’t write off mainline Protestants

News reports about decline in the mainline church underestimates the continuing influence of its members, says religion researcher Robert P. Jones, CEO of Public Religion Research Institute in Washington, D.C.

What I think is important to remember is that the mainline Protestants still make up 17 percent or so of the country. That’s a sizable population to pay attention to. They tend to vote even at numbers slightly higher than that, so they’re a fairly reliable set of voters.

Both parties should not be writing them off — not only because of their size but because they tend to be one of two religious groups in the American religious landscape that are divided between the two parties.

Jones, who writes the “Figuring Faith” column for the On Faith blog network of The Washington Post, believes that “mainline Protestants are arguably the most ignored and least understood of the major religious groups in the American religious landscape.”

[Mainline Protestants] are really the only major religious group that’s a little off the radar. Part of it is that there has been this narrative of decline. But I think that narrative glosses over a lot more stability and vitality than [the fuller] narrative seems to indicate.

Examining Scientology front group Narconon

“The East Coast headquarters for Narconon is right here in Florida,” says First Coast News: “It’s a controversial drug rehab program where there have been a string of deaths.”

In the opinion of the publishers of Religion News Blog, Narconon — which is based on the ludicrous medical claims of fantasist and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard — is engaged in quackery.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Wednesday February 27, 2013.
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