Indonesia: Sharia Upon the Christians?

Thousands of Christians take to the street against application of Islamic law

by Mathias Hariyadi
In the Indonesian Papua, Christians are opposing the possible introduction of sharia. The provincial government is reassuring them, but many doubts remain.





Jakarta (AsiaNews) – More than 3,500 Christians have protested in Jayapura, the capital of Indonesian Papua, against the introduction of sharia, Islamic law, in the region.

The demonstration of a few days ago was organized by the Indonesian Christian Communication Forum, and took place to the cry of “Papua Pancasila, yes. Papua Syariat Islam, no!”. Pancasila, literally “the five basic pillars”, is the official ideology of the state founded on modern democratic principles like freedom of expression and of religion. Recently in Jakarta there has been talk of introducing sharia in Indonesia. The Christians of the province object that Papua enjoys special legal autonomy, which would prevent the introduction of such law without local approval.

The demonstrators went to the offices of the provincial government, where Tedjo Suprato (who is standing in for the governor Barnabas Suebu, a Catholic, in Mexico on official business) reassured them that Islamic law will not be adopted in Papua.