4,500 couples participate in Indonesian interfaith marriage ceremony
July 20th, 2011
02:35 PM ET

4,500 couples participate in Indonesian interfaith marriage ceremony

By Kathy Quiano, CNN

Jakarta, Indonesia (CNN) - More than 4,500 Indonesian couples tied the knot at a Jarkarta sports stadium on Tuesday, in what the event’s organizers claim was the world's largest interfaith wedding event.

The couples were married in Islamic, Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist and Hindu ceremonies – with each participating in whichever rites were appropriate. The event’s organizers said the mass wedding was aimed at helping poor couples who couldn’t afford to pay for their own weddings.

A humanitarian organization, Pondok Kasih Foundation, initiated the event and worked with Jakarta’s government and private sponsors to stage the mass wedding.

In a press release, organizers said the event was focused on promoting Pancasila, Indonesia’s state philosophy, which encompasses five basic principles that include belief in one God, just and civilized society, unity and democracy.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Indonesia • Interfaith issues

Indonesian cleric's terror trial adjourned
Supporters of radical Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir display his portrait outside a Jakarta court on February 10, 2011.
February 10th, 2011
07:32 AM ET

Indonesian cleric's terror trial adjourned

Indonesia's latest attempt to charge a fiery Islamic cleric on terrorism charges was swiftly adjourned moments after it started in a south Jakarta court Thursday.

Abu Bakar Ba'asyir could face the death penalty under fresh charges, which include planning and/or inciting a terrorist act and involvement in a paramilitary training camp discovered last February in Aceh province.

However, proceedings were postponed to Monday after his lawyer argued that they were not given enough time to respond to the court summons.

The 72-year-old waved and smiled to hundreds of his supporters, who chanted "God is great."

Read the full story on the terror trial of an Indonesian cleric here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Asia • Courts • Indonesia • Religious violence • Violence

Indonesian police probe attack on churches
Indonesians from various religions hold hands in Jakarta on January 7 to condemn religious clashes in the country.
February 8th, 2011
07:50 AM ET

Indonesian police probe attack on churches

From Kathy Quiano, CNN

Jakarta, Indonesia (CNN) - Indonesian authorities are searching for attackers who targeted three churches in Central Java Tuesday, police said.

"The scene is now under police control. It's calm, but security is high," National Police spokesman Boy Rafli said.

Authorities are "asking local religious leaders to stay calm and find diplomatic ways to solve the problem," he said.

Tuesday's attack comes after an attack on members of a Muslim minority sect Sunday that killed three people and injured five others.

Police said the home of a Ahmadiyah sect preacher was raided Sunday by more than 1,000 people - some wielding knives, sticks and rocks.

Read the full story here about the probe into church attacks in Indonesia.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Asia • Indonesia • Muslim • Violence

World Muslim population doubling, report projects
January 27th, 2011
12:01 AM ET

World Muslim population doubling, report projects

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

Twenty years ago, the world had about 1.1 billion Muslims. Twenty years from now, it will have about twice as many - and they'll represent more than a quarter of all people on earth, according to a new study released Thursday.

That's a rise from less than 20 percent in 1990.

Pakistan will overtake Indonesia as home of the largest number of Muslims, as its population pushes over 256 million, the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life projects.


- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Afghanistan • Indonesia • Islam • Israel • Muslim • Pakistan • United States

Obama lauds Indonesia as a model of religious tolerance
November 10th, 2010
08:29 AM ET

Obama lauds Indonesia as a model of religious tolerance

Indonesia and the United States share principles of unity and tolerance and both can benefit from strengthened ties that will bolster trade and combat terrorism, President Obama said in a highly anticipated speech Wednesday.

As the nation with the largest Muslim population in the world, Indonesia was chosen as the site for Obama to further address U.S. relations with the Islamic world following his speech on the topic last year in Cairo, Egypt.

I said then, and I will repeat now, that no single speech can eradicate years of mistrust," Obama said. At the same time, he promised that "no matter what setbacks may come, the United States is committed to human progress."

America "is not, and never will be, at war with Islam," Obama insisted. "Instead, all of us must defeat al Qaeda and its affiliates, who have no claim to be leaders of any religion - certainly not a great world religion like Islam."

Read the full story

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Barack Obama • Foreign policy • Indonesia • Islam • United States

About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.