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Indonesia (Religious Persecution)

Volume 405: debated on Wednesday 21 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Indonesian Government regarding the persecution of Christians. [113704]

Religious freedom in Indonesia is enshrined in the Constitution and is respected by the Indonesian Government and the majority of Indonesians. Although religious differences were the apparent spark of violence in the provinces of Maluku and Sulawesi, underlying economic factors were at least as important.We, along with our European partners, have urged the Indonesian Government to maintain law and order and promote reconciliation in both provinces, and bring to justice extremists responsible for human rights abuses.