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World News – Hopes rise for minorities

Members of several religious minority groups in Indonesia say they are cautiously optimistic about plans to
draft a new bill to protect persecuted minorities in the predominantly Muslim country.

Minister of Religious Affairs Lukman Hakim Saifuddin says his ministry plans to draft new legislation aimed at protecting religious freedom in a country where rights groups say there has been an alarming surge in intolerance in recent years.

Lukman told reporters the bill would specifically address the issues of the closure of churches as well as attacks on mosques belonging to Shia and Ahmadiyya followers.

In Indonesia, national law offers protection to minority communities, but its implementation by local governments has been far from consistent.

UCA

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