The Jakarta Post
The drafted bill on the protection of religious communities does not protect minorities that are under increasing persecution; the government is not showing progress in upholding religious freedom, rights group Setara Institure said Monday.
'The bill upholds that the state can intervene in freedom of religion to maintain stability and security at the expense of minority groups,' Setara Institute's deputy chairperson Bonar Tigor Naipospos said, adding that minorities were potentially suppressed for the sake of stability and security.
'Some 116 cases of violations against religious freedom with 136 [legal] measures [taken] under the new government that has run for seven months,' he said as quoted by Antara news agency.
The government announced in November last year that it was drafting a bill to serve as the legal grounds to provide protection to adherents of all religions.
The bill was also expected to regulate religious life that might concern public spaces, such as the construction of houses of worship, proselytizing or funerals.
Naipospos said the drafted bill clearly favored majority groups, adding that his organization would push the Religious Affairs Ministry and Home Ministry to design a more comprehensive policy that would eradicate religious discrimination. (++++)
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