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ICC Note: A small group of about 50 Christian and members of other religious minorities marched to the U.S. embassy in Jakarta earlier this week to protest a U.S. based interfaith group awarding Indonesian President Yudhoyono for promoting religious freedom. The award comes despite violent attacks against minority Muslim communities and the forced closure of hundreds of churches during Yudhoyono’s presidency. 
5/10/2013 Indonesia (WWM) – According to the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, Indonesia President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is a world statesman who promotes religious tolerance.
According to the Clergy Forum of Jakarta, Banten and West Java in Indonesia, Yudhoyono turns a blind eye to oppression of minority religions in his own country.
The forum on Monday led a small march of about 50 people to the U.S. embassy in Jakarta to deliver a letter protesting the foundation’s decision to give its 2013 World Statesman Award to Yudhoyono.
“He is the president of intolerance,” Rev. Palti Panjaitan, of Batak Christian Protestant Filadelfia church, told World Watch Monitor.
He and the group left without finding anyone at the embassy to take the letter.
The New York-based Appeal of Conscience Foundation, formed in 1965, calls itself an “interfaith coalition of business and religious leaders promotes peace, tolerance and ethnic conflict resolution.” It’s annual World Statesman Award has been bestowed upon the likes of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper; South Korean President Lee Myung-bak; French President Nicolas Sarkozy; and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
Clergy Forum Coordinator, Rev. Erwin Marbun, said he wonders just what criteria the foundation used to select Yudhoyono, or “SBY,” as the president is widely called. Christian churches in Indonesia have been bulldozed, and minority Mulsims have been attacked by mobs – evidence of what the Agence France-Presse news service this week characterized as “religious intolerance sweeping the country.”
“In fact, President SBY did not obey the law,” Marbun told World Watch Monitor. “He missed in law enforcement in Indonesia. Look at the closure of places of worship in Indonesia as happened at GKI Yasmin, HKBP Filadelfia, the Shia in Sampang who can not return home till today, and the Ahmadiyah who are terrified by the violence of a group of people.”

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