The Indonesian rights group, the Setara Institute of Democracy and Peace, said there have been 28 cases of religious freedom violations from January to July 2010 up from 17 for the whole of 2008 and 18 in 2009.
In his State of the Nation address on the eve of the country’s Independence Day 2010, Mr Yudhoyono, the President called on Indonesians to exercise the “the true philosophy of harmonious living in a pluralistic society.” “I would like to underline the need for all of us to continuously maintain and strengthen our brotherly spirit, harmony and tolerance as a nation.. We want every citizen to live their lives in peace and harmony, in accordance with their individual rights” he said.
Indonesia’s Constitution guarantees freedom of religion but in recent months it has been plagued by rising violence by Islamic hardliners who have launched attacks on mosques belonging to minority sects and Christian churches.
On Sunday, hundreds of Indonesians, mostly Christians, held a prayer vigil in Jakarta urging Mr Yudhoyono to stop the attacks and guarantee religious freedom.
A time to love and a time to hate; a time to war, and a time of peace. Ecclesiastes 3:8
Jesus said “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven; for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and descendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have you? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 6:44-48.
How do we love the unlovely and our enemies?
Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:10.
For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead; and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again. 2 Corinthians 5:14,15.
Love worketh no ill to his neighbour, therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand; let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly , as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. Romans 13:10-14
Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing; but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are there unto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile; Let him eschew evil, and do good; then let him seek peace and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye; and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts; and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear; having a good conscience; that whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing than for evildoing. 1 Peter 3:9-17.
Dear Father and Lord of all, according to Your Word, help us to forgive those who wrong us even as you forgive us and help us overcome evil with good which we cannot do by ourselves. Help us to live not in terror but to sanctify You in our hearts, ready to give an answer with meekness and a good conscience, to every man that asks a reason of the hope that is in us. May we submit to Your will and love as You love so that in blessing we should inherit a blessing. In Jesus Name we pray. Amen.