Gafatar, a religious minority in Indonesia’s predominantly Muslim nation, has faced increasing violence.  A Gafatar center in Antibar was burned down on January 19, 2017.  Human Rights Watch blames Indonesia’s legal system for perpetuating the discrimination against religious minorities.  Indonesia already has laws such as the Joint Decree on Houses of Worship, which requires minorities to get official approval to construct or renovate houses of worship.

Meanwhile, Muslims, a religious minority in the United States’ predominantly Christian nation, have also faced increasing violence and discrimination as President Trump proposed and implemented a ban on Muslim refugees entering the country.  Two mosques in Texas have been burned down just in the month of January 2017.  The increasing religious intolerance around the globe may pose one of the greatest dilemmas for international relations, particularly as Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights calls on member nation-states to protect religious freedom.



Sources: Andreas Harsono, Indonesia’s Religious Minorities Under Threat, Human Rights Watch, February 2, 2017, https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/02/02/indonesias-religious-minorities-under-threat; Texas Mosque ‘Completely Destroyed’ in Early-Morning Fire, Time, Inc., January 28, 2017, http://time.com/4652725/texas-mosque-fire/