11/02/2019 Indonesia (International Christian Concern) – New legislation in Indonesia is moving the country in a concerning direction for the various indigenous and minority faiths that call the Indonesian Archipelago home.
In September, Indonesia began to review and overhaul sections of the country’s penal code that currently comprising the blasphemy laws. Recently, President Widodo ordered a delay in the upcoming voting sessions in the Indonesian Parliament to give additional time to policymakers and lawyers to fully review the content of the new blasphemy provisions.
Articles 304 through 309 represent the same premise of the former singular blasphemy provision, while displaying a more expanded list of potential crimes and punishments. The government’s reasoning behind expanding the nation’s blasphemy laws, is the direct identification of what constitutes a religious or blasphemous offense.
However, history shows that pursuing more explicit blasphemy laws is simply not the answer to continued human rights abuses, as any such legislation denies in part freedom of speech, thought, and religion. Please be in prayer for the pursuit of religious freedom in the Republic of Indonesia and minimal employment of such abusive legislation.