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Washington, D.C. (March 14, 2011)–International Christian Concern (ICC) has joined Indonesian Christians in calling for accountability for crimes against Christians in Indonesia, as well as government action to permanently protect this vulnerable religious community.

On March 4, 2011, ICC Regional Manager for SE Asia, Logan Maurer spoke on a panel addressing religious persecution in Indonesia. The event, organized by the Indonesian Christian Fellowship of Washington, DC, (ICFDC) was a conference and candlelight vigil highlighting religious freedom and democracy in Indonesia. The event was a response and discussion on the continuous religious persecution that has been committed against minority groups in Indonesia.

In his remarks, Logan Maurer stated, “Churches throughout the Indonesia, along with the Christians who worship there, have been attacked by fanatical Muslim groups. These attacks have led to injuries sustained by Christians and damages to many Christian properties, with little to no recourse from the local authorities; it is an obvious failure to uphold the Indonesian Constitution.

Logan was referring to Chapter XI of the Constitution of Indonesia which states that, “The nation is based on belief in God, but the state guarantees religious freedom for all.

“We do not yet have a clear picture of what sort of Indonesia is emerging,” said Logan Maurer. “Recent events have shown a clear leaning toward Islamic extremism. It is the role of the government to enforce rule-of-law and live up to its own constitutional foundation of religious freedom.”

NGO leaders, religious leaders, government officials, and citizens from countries around the world participated in the ICFDC event and discussed ideas on how Indonesia could move forward in protecting Christians without compromising Indonesia’s social stability.

The following conclusions were a result of the conference:

1)      The rising level of violence against religious minorities in Indonesia undermines global democratic efforts and Indonesia’s national interests.

2)      The Indonesian government should take serious action toward recent attacks by arresting and punishing the perpetrators, justly and rightly, based on the constitution and the written laws.

3)      The Indonesian legislature will prove to the international community its commitment in resolving this issue by passing a clear law that protects religious freedom and promotes programs that enhance tolerance and understanding among different religious groups.

“This conference marks a solid step in the right direction: Indonesian Christians organizing and calling for needed change to protect their legal and religious rights. The next step is to pressure the Indonesian government to take real action to show its commitment to human rights and democracy: clear and definite laws are needed that guarantee religious harmony as promised by the Indonesian Constitution,” said Logan Maurer.