The way people are dying in Indonesia has changed. And under the country’s draconian COVID-19 protocols, even those who have tested negative for coronavirus are being buried in mass graves—without family present to say goodbye.
Southeast Asia is one of the regions in the world most affected by climate change. Faith-based communities and organised religions have immense potential to address issues of climate change and environmental justice through their collective engagement, ethical teachings and ability to influence action among adherents.
Despite a long history in Indonesia, Judaism isn’t one of the country’s officially recognised religions. But a small community in North Sulawesi—home to the only synagogue in the archipelago—isn’t letting that hold them back from worshipping while living in harmony alongside neighbours of other religions.
Cambodian Muslims in Phnom Penh say they are experiencing a drop in customers frequenting their businesses and other discrimination after a number of reported infections within their community were linked to a religious gathering in Malaysia.
Halal tourism has become big business in Southeast Asia in recent years. But in communities that have traditionally celebrated pigs, this initiative by local governments has caused concern and contention.
Coffee culture has uplifted coffee beans as an international commodity while also initiating a “third-wave coffee movement” that ensures free trade. Yet the lives of coffee workers throughout the industry chain tells a very different story.
Indonesia has shown its commitment to promoting rights elsewhere in the region. It should do no less for Muslims in China.
Both the Myanmar military and the Kachin Independence Army have expressed intentions to reach a bilateral ceasefire agreement in Kachin State. But while Kachin and non-Kachin alike say they’re tired of the impact of war, there’s still doubt as to whether such a ceasefire would truly hold.
Ustaz Wan Ji Wan Husin is a rare religious preacher in Malaysia, working to reach out to people across ethnic and religious lines. But his activities as a progressive religious preacher in a largely conservative system means he’s run up against resistance and state-led repercussions more than once.
Paintings depicting Ultraman in poses usually associated with Buddha caused an uproar in Thailand, and the artist eventually forced to apologise. Yet this incident also sheds light on conservative Buddhism in the country, and those pushing back against the belief that something can be so sacred that it is beyond question.