Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Interfaith dialogue encouraged in Indonesia

A European Union (EU) delegate, Werner Langen, visiting Indonesia this week states that "Freedom of worship is a basic human right much like freedom of speech and freedom of expression. We encourage religious freedom and tolerance toward people practicing their beliefs."

He, along with nine other EU delegates, are in Indonesia for 5 days to discuss the country’s diversity, democracy and development and profess belief that Indonesia’s President together with the government can solve the problems related to religious divisions in the country.

Indonesia has recently experienced a surge in religion-based problems. Two violent incidents, the lynching of Ahmadis in Cikeusik and the destruction of churches in Temanggung, rocked the nation earlier this month.

“We have full trust in the government and President Susilo Bambang Yudoyhono,” Werner said Tuesday.

The delegation is in Indonesia to learn about its continuing efforts at democratization while forging ties that will also include several other Southeast Asian countries.

Source: The Jakarta Post

Obama health care mandate ruled not to violate RF

Religion News Service (RNS) reports (Feb. 22) that a federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Christians who argued that President Obama's health care overhaul violates their religious freedom.

The Christians said they believe that God will heal them from disease and that the requirement to purchase health insurance in the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act forces them to demonstrate a lack of faith. The lawsuit argued the health care law also violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

But, U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler said, "It is unclear how (the new health care law) puts substantial pressure on plaintiffs to modify their behavior and to violate their beliefs, as it permits them to pay a shared responsibility payment in lieu of actually obtaining health insurance."

More here.