Protestant leaders accuse Indonesian government of perpetuating unrest and division

Monday, July 5, 2021

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - Protestant Church leaders in Indonesia have accused Jakarta of perpetuating unrest and division instead of addressing human rights violations in the country, International Christian Concern reports. The Protestant Church Council, which comprises the Indonesian Christian Church in Papua, the Kemah Injili Church, and the Evangelical Church in Indonesia, published its accusations in a June 2 statement.

The Council made its accusations after the Ministry of Home Affairs appointed provincial secretary Dance Yulian Flassy as acting governor of the Papua region in the place of Lukas Enembe, who is currently in hospital in Singapore.

Although the Home Affairs Ministry stated Enembe was replaced “to keep the government and public services running smoothly,” the Council views the move as an effort to cause division among Papuans and unseat opposition to the government, ICC said. Papua is an autonomous, predominantly Christian, region of Indonesia.

The replacement of Enembe amounts to, the Council said, a “character assassination of indigenous Papuan officials which has followed a pattern” since Papua became part of Indonesia, ICC reports.

“This [move] shows Jakarta’s distrust of Papua as a province in Indonesia,” the Council said. “This move exacerbates the long-standing conflict between Jakarta and Papua,” the Council added.