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2/7/11 Indonesia (Creeping) – Violations of Christians’ religious freedom in Indonesia jumped from 12 incidents in 2009 to 75 last year, according to a report from the Setara Institute for Democracy and Peace.

Setara Institute researcher Ismail Hasani said at a press conference last week that 43 incidents involved attacks on churches and other security threats, sealing of worship venues and prohibition of activities, among other violations. Other incidents among the 75 violations included blocking churches from establishing places of worship and banning services and other religious activities.

Those involved in the violations acted primarily as members of community organizations, Hasani said.

“Most violations were committed by community groups – 70 incidents by groups such as the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), which was responsible for 17 incidents, the Islamic People’s Forum (FUI), which committed 11, and the Islamic Reform Movement (GARIS) which committed 10,” Hasani said. “Individuals were responsible for five incidents, and the Communication Forum for Religious Harmony (FKUB) committed three.”

In previous years most religious freedom violations overall have occurred in West Java Province, and that trend continued as Setara recorded 91 incidents against Christians and other groups in 2010.

After the 75 violations committed against Christian groups, the minority Muslim Ahmadiyya sect endured the next highest number of violations with 50, he said.

Theophilus Bela, secretary general of the Indonesian Committee on Religion and Peace and president of the Jakarta Christian Communication Forum, reported 46 incidents of religious freedom violations churches suffered in 2010.

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