Indonesia – Iran - Nigeria – Pakistan - Philippines

General April 29, 2009

Religious Liberty Alert | Week ending Friday 24 April 2009 

http://www.ea.org.au/ReligiousLiberty/Alerts.aspx  

INDONESIA 

Sadanand Dhume reports on the Indonesian election results. While Islam-based parties saw their cumulative vote-share shrink to about 20% from 38% five years ago, the pro-Sharia Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) remains Indonesia's fourth largest party. Dhume notes: 'It will take much more than a single election to dent PKS's access to Saudi funding and its network of supportive mosques and madrassas, or to diminish the appeal for many newly educated Indonesians of its starkly utopian message: Islam is the solution. [...] If Indonesia is to fulfil its potential as a moderate and modern Muslim-majority democracy, mainstream politicians must not make the mistake of legitimising this party. In the short term, this means scotching rumours that the PKS may snag the vice-presidential spot on President Yudhoyono's ticket. In the long term, it means recognising the sobering reality that Indonesia's long struggle with radical Islam is not about to end any time soon. That struggle will be won not by embracing PKS, but by working to banish it to the margins of political life, where it belongs.' 

Indonesia Rejects Extremism; Islam-based parties saw their vote total cut in half.
By Sadanand Dhume 16 April 2009
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123984963676123781.html 

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IRAN 

Maryam Rostampour and Marzieh Amirizadeh Esmaeilabad, members of the Christian community in Iran, were arrested on 5 March. They faced a Revolutionary Court on 18 March before being imprisoned without charge in Tehran's notorious Evin Prison, accused of 'acting against state security' and 'taking part in illegal gatherings'. Both women are ill with infection and high fever. They are not receiving adequate medical care or justice. 

Amnesty International Urgent Action Appeal - Iran: Prisoners of conscience / Medical concern Amnesty International, Date Published: 8 April 2009
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/030/2009/en
 

Iran: Imprisoned Christian women in peril - a call to pray for Iran ASSIST News (Elizabeth Kendal) 22 April 2009
http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/2009/s09040118.htm
 

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NIGERIA 

In Niger State, Easter festivities turned bitter when Muslim youths attacked Christians participating in a celebratory procession, before unleashing a fit of destruction upon lives and property.

The anti-Christian violence, which appears to have been premeditated, destroyed three churches vandalised, and left tens of Christians injured in Minna, the state capital, and Gwada. 

Easter Violence in Niger State
Daily Champion, Editorial, 17 April 2009
http://allafrica.com/stories/200904170405.html
 

Nigeria: Easter Mayhem - 115 Arraigned in Minna By Ayegba Israel Ebije, 15 April 2009
http://allafrica.com/stories/200904150059.html
 

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PAKISTAN 

'Just one week after the Pakistani government agreed to implement sharia, or Islamic law, in the vast Malakand Division, the Taliban are flaunting the peace agreement with the government and pushing into neighbouring regions.' 

Taliban flex muscles in Malakand Division By Bill Roggio. 22 April 2009
http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2009/04/taliban_flex_muscles.php
 

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'We have to face the fact that if Pakistan collapses it will dwarf anything we have seen so far in whatever we're calling the war on terror now,' said David Kilcullen, a former Australian Army officer warning that Pakistan is in danger of collapse within months. 

Islamist terrorists pushing Pakistan towards collapse Peter Goodspeed, National Post. 10 April 2009
http://www.nationalpost.com/news/world/story.html?id=1485665 

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PHILIPPINES 

On Good Friday, some 40 Muslim bandits -- a group comprising Abu Sayyaf and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels-- raided the predominately Christian village of Sitio Arco, Lamitan, in Basilan province, southern Philippines. They kidnapped Cosme Aballes (40), Ernan Chavez (23) and six children. Another villager, Jacinto Clemente, was shot and killed as he tried to escape. Aballes' body was found on Easter Sunday -- he had been barbarically beheaded with a blunt weapon. Chavez was abandoned by his captors on Monday 20 April, but eight remain captives. 

Basilan bandits behead hostage
By Jocelyn Uy, Philippine Daily Inquirer.14 April 2009
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/regions/view/20090414-199177/Basilan-bandits-behead-hostage
 

Abus free farmer in Basilan
By Roel Pareno, The Philippine Star 22 April 2009
http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=459932&publicationSubCategoryId=63
  

Fighting between government forces and MILF separatist Islamic rebels has forces some 400 families to flee their homes in Maguindanao province, Southern Philippines. 

Hundreds of families flee from fighting in Maguindanao The Philippine Star 23 April 2009
http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=460434&publicationSubCategoryId=200
 

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Digest compiled by Australian Evangelical Alliance (AEA) Religious Liberty Commission (RLC). All URL links were active when the digest was issued. Whilst the RLC has taken every care in selecting the items included, their authenticity depends on the original source. 

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