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2/10/11 Indonesia (UCAN) – Alarmed by an upsurge in religious violence, the Indonesian Association of Catholic Intellectuals (ISKA) has urged the government to firmly uphold the national ideology of Pancasila (five principles).

It also called on society to adhere to the national motto; Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (unity in diversity).

“The government must firmly uphold Pancasila and Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, which serve as the foundation of national life. Letting violence occur will harm our identity as a nation which is dignified and believes in God,” the intellectuals said in a statement yesterday.

Pancasila, enshrined in the preamble to the 1945 Constitution, stresses belief in one God, a just and civilized society, a united Indonesia, democracy guided by consensus, and social justice for all.

The association said it was shocked at the level of violence in Java in recent days.

On February 6, three Ahmadiyah sect members were beaten and stoned to death and at least five others injured during an attack by over 1,000 orthodox Muslims on worshippers at a house in Umbulan village in Banten.

Two days later, in Temanggung, angry mobs ransacked three churches after a court jailed a Christian for five for insulting Islam in books and articles he published in October.

The mobs were angry at the sentence, believing the Christian should have got the death penalty.

“These acts demonstrate that the constitution’s guarantees of freedom of religion and faith are lacking,” they added.

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