UCAN needs your support
You are why we do what we do - report, describe, comment, review. It is to bring to your eyes just what life is like for believers across Asia that we publish UCAN.
But as you know, the effort needs to be sustained if it is to have continuing effect.
UCAN publishes some 150 stories a week in four languages across six websites. We are grateful to benefactors in Europe and the US who support us. But those countries and the Church there are under increasing financial strain and their generosity no longer covers our costs.
We need financial help from our readers to sustain our efforts. Our reporters, editors, video producers and photographers all have families and we need to support them. They do excellent jobs, but they can't do their jobs for nothing.
Will you help us to sustain UCAN? Please click here to help.
Thanks in anticipation.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Church official demands justice for minorities
Action needed in Indonesia to address ’discriminatory bylaws, persecution’A Catholic chapel in Indonesia, after it was reduced to rubble by attackers (File photo)
- Windy Subanto, Padang
- February 2, 2011
â€śConstitutional rule should regulate all citizens, not only a certain group of people,â€ť Father Philips Rusihan Sakti said.
He was addressing 40 religious and local leaders as well as scholars representing minority groups at a Jan. 31 meeting organized in Padang by the Communication Forum of Chinese Indonesiansâ€™ Community.
â€śThis provinceâ€™s government has issued many laws which only regulate a certain group of people. Bylaws emphasizing Koran literacy, the wearing of Muslim attire, and contributing to those in need are examples,â€ť he continued.
The parish priest of St. Barbara Church in Sawahlunto also said the state has failed to guarantee its citizens freedom to practice their religions.
â€śCatholics near my parishâ€™s mission station are not allowed to build a church so they have to use a hall belonging to the military for prayer meetings,â€ť he said.
Elsewhere, a chapel belonging to a mission station was burned down by a mob while security forces did nothing,â€ť he continued.
He called on minority groups to take action to prevent injustices continuing.
â€śWe must find a way of making those being oppressed heard. I know the risk is high. We must be ready to spend time, energy even money â€¦ and risk the hatred of those angered [by our efforts],â€ť he said.
Meanwhile, the forumâ€™s chairman, Valentinus Gunawan, said the event aimed at establishing a medium through which people can protest against discrimination and human rights violations.
â€śSo far, people are afraid of protesting. If they are brave enough, they do not know how to go about it,â€ť he said.
Indonesian Christians promised freedom