As theological debates on sexuality and marriage become more and more central, many Christian denominations are being asked to clarify their views.
Indonesian police have named the leader of the Islamic Defenders Front as a suspect. Rizieq Shihab mobilised thousands to put pressure on judges in a ‘blasphemy’ trial against Christian politician ‘Ahok’.
“We believe Bhatti is innocent and will be freed by the high court, but it will take several years for his case to be heard by the high court”, an advocate says.
The New Testament writers tell us that God’s honour is not something so fragile that it needs to be protected by legal restrictions.
Freedom of conscience, freedom of speech and religious freedom are battles that are worth fighting.
‘Ahok’ is sentenced to two years of prison. The judges say the Christian politician “has caused anxiety, hurt Islam and divided Muslims.” Islamic radicals increase pressure on Christians.
Conversion from Islam is impossible in many places and in the few locations where it is possible legally, there are social and cultural impediments to change.
The campaign was marked by violent demonstrations led by radical Muslims and a trial for alleged blasphemy. “Trust me, power comes from God and it too can be taken by God. Don’t be sad”, he told supporters.
Three churches have been banned for religious activities and another one was attacked in the last month. Banners against Christian candidate Basuki Tjahaja "Ahok" were rife all over Jakarta.
Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, led the race with 43% of the votes. He is the first Christian who governs the city and is currently under trial for blasphemy charges.
Outside the heavily guarded court, those opposing Ahok chanted, “Jail Ahok, jail Ahok, jail Ahok now”. Muslim clerics refer to the Christian politician as a “son of Satan”.
Indonesia, the country with most Muslims in the world, sees the worrying rise of radical Islam. Christians fear demonstrations and new attacks on churches.
Another concern is the governmental regulation of religious groups to stifle the freedom to worship. The report also takes aim at the genocide against Christians carried out by Daesh and Boko Haram.
He posted a message on social media about the light of Jesus overcoming the “lie” of Islam and its prophet.
Nepal, Bhutan, and Myanmar have also enacted similar laws, with Nepal going so far as to include them in the recently adopted constitution.
“If you want to get rid of your neighbor, you find a way to accuse them of blasphemy, using an ordinary insult as evidence”, a lawyer says.
Two church buildings burnt in the state of Niger. Rioters killed the believer “on allegation of posting a blasphemous statement about Prophet Muhammad on the social media.” Troops try to control outbreak of violence.
Bishoy Garas was jailed in September 2012 for offensive Facebook posts found on a fake page opened in his name.