The Constitutional Court, Indonesia’s top court, recently overturned a law that denied recognition and legal rights to those people who follow indigenous faiths. Although Indonesia is one of the most populous Muslim nations, the nine-judge panel said articles in the Civil Administration Law were discriminatory and violated the principle of equality before the law. The articles have been in place since 2006 and required followers of faiths not among the government’s recognized religions to list one of the official religions on their identity cards. The articles also denied rights such as marriage registration and land titles. The court said the law caused injustice to followers of native faiths. The Ministry of Home Affairs will now propose revisions to the law after the court’s ruling.
Support for death penalty dips
According to a recent Gallup Poll, Americans who support the death penalty is at its lowest level since 1972. The poll found that 55 percent of U.S. adults said they favored the death penalty for convicted murders, compared to 69 percent in 2007.
“God: A Human History” by Reza Aslan
In layered prose and with thoughtful, accessible scholarship, Reza Aslan narrates the history of religion as a remarkably cohesive attempt to understand the divine by giving it human traits and emotions. According to Aslan, this innate desire to humanize God is hardwired in our brains, making it a central feature of nearly every religious tradition. But this projection is not without consequences. We bestow upon God not just all that is good in human nature — our compassion, our thirst for justice — but all that is bad in it: Our greed, our bigotry, our penchant for violence. All these qualities inform our religions, cultures, and governments.
— Random House
hadith: Pronounced “ha-DEETH.” A report or reports about a saying, action or tradition of Muhammad and his closest companions.
RELIGION AROUND THE WORLD
According to the CIA World Factbook, the religious makeup of Costa Rica is:
• Evangelical: 13.7 percent
• Jehovah’s Witness: 1.3 percent
• Other Protestant: 0.7 percent
• Other: 4.8 percent
• None: 3.2 percent
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