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Jakarta Post

Christians fear of being marginalized ahead of polls

  • The Jakarta Post

JAKARTA   /   Mon, February 2 2009   /  10:40 am

Christians in the country are concerned Muslim parties could ratchet up their political leverage by winning more votes in the upcoming legislative elections, and continue to pin their hopes on nationalist parties, a discussion heard Saturday. Dozens of regencies have enforced sharia-based ordinances without challenge recently, sparking fears in Christian communities that Islamic-based parties would push Indonesia toward a nationwide implementation of Islamic law if they win the April polls, speakers of the discussion said. Centre for Strategic and International Studies researcher J. Kristiadi said that to a certain extent, Christians already felt they were being treated as second-class citizens in the predominantly Muslim country, as evidenced by the issuance of a joint ministerial decree which restricts them from building their places of worship. “A survey which revea...