Indonesia: Ahmadis, Shiites cast votes in hope for change


In Sidoarjo, East Java, the Sampang Shiites also cast their votes near their displacement camp.

A number of police and military personnel were deployed to the location for security reasons.

“Eveything is good. There’s no problem,” Sidoarjo Police chief Adj. Comr. Marjuki said as quoted by

Sixty-seven Shia families were forced to leave their village in Sampang after a conflict with the majority Sunnis peaked on Aug. 27, 2012.

Dozens of homes belonging to Shia followers, whose spiritual leader was Tajul Muluk, were torched by a mob that claimed to represent the majority group. Two people were killed in the rioting, while Tajul was imprisoned for blasphemy.

The Shiites initially sheltered at a sports stadium in Sampang but were eventually moved to the Puspa Agro apartments in Sidoarjo, where they remain.

In Semarang, adherents of non-denominational faiths said they voted because they wanted the government to drop a regulation requiring all citizens to state their religion on their identification cards. The government only recognizes six official religions: Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism.

Non-denominational faiths are…

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