Religious leader protection bill sparks debate in Indonesia

Uproar over Ahok

Indonesia’s Islamic-based Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) has succeeded in pushing a bill on the Protection of Religious Leaders and Religious Symbols.

Earlier this month, it was included on a list of 50 priority bills to be discussed next year. Two other Islamic-based parties in the government coalition, the United Development Party and the National Awakening Party, are supporting the bill.

Almuzzammil Yusuf, a PKS politician and member of the People’s Representative Council, Indonesia’s equivalent of a House of Representatives, says the bill is aimed at “preventing and deterring the intimidation, and persecution of ulemas and religious figures.”

“With this law, we hope that there will be no more criminalizing of religious leaders who give speeches in accordance with the teachings of their religion,” he said.

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Citizenship Bill in India threatens status of Muslims

 U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom logoWASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is deeply troubled by the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB), originally introduced by Home Minister Amit Shah, in the Lok Sabha – the lower house of the Indian Parliament. The bill has the potential to remove citizenship from Muslims on religious grounds.

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Citizenship Amendment Bill: India’s new ‘anti-Muslim’ law causes uproar

Citizenship Amendment BillIndia’s government has tabled a bill in parliament which offers amnesty to non-Muslim illegal immigrants from three neighbouring countries. The controversial bill seeks to provide citizenship to religious minorities in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

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Australian Government to return three stolen artefacts to India

Nagaraja statue When Prime Minister Scott Morrison visits India in January 2020, he will take with him three stolen artefacts (statues) from the National Gallery of Australia (Canberra). The National Gallery of Australia is voluntarily returning pieces procured unethically. These include a pair of dvarpalas (door guardians) from 15th century Tamil Nadu, and a statue of Nagaraja (serpent king), believed to be from 6th to 8th century Rajasthan or Madhya Pradesh.

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Thich Nhat Hanh travels to Thailand for health check-up

Thich Nhat Hanh in Vietnam in October 2018 via

“We are grateful that Thay is so clear and engaged with respect to his medical care, which helps us make decisions to support his needs,” Plum Village writes in a new letter to students.

On November 28, Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh traveled from Huế, Vietnam to Thailand for a medical check-up at a hospital in Bangkok, a letter to his students from Plum Village reports.

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Reflections on Pope Francis in Thailand – Majority Buddhist Country

Pope Francis visits the Supreme Buddhist Patriarch at Was Ratchabophit Sathit Maha Simaram Temple,Pope Francis visited “the land of interreligious dialogue” – Thailand – from Nov. 20 to Nov. 23 as “a pilgrim of peace, to foster the building of bridges for peace and understanding”. Msgr. Andrew Vissanu Thanya-anan, the general coordinator of the papal visit and deputy secretary general of the Thailand bishops’ conference, reflects on the significance of the Pope’s visit to Thailand.

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Pope Francis: ‘Thailand has long known the importance of building harmony’

Pope Francis with the Prime Minister of ThailandPope Francis gave an address to members of government, civil and religious leaders, and diplomatic corps at Government House, Bangkok, Thailand on 21 November 2019. In his address, the Pope remarked, “Our age is marked by globalization that is all too often viewed in narrowly economic terms, tending to erase the distinguishing features that shape the beauty and soul of our peoples.”

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