04/04/2019 Indonesia (International Christian Concern) – Slamet Sumiarto, a Catholic artist and his family, became the latest victim of religious intolerance in Indonesia’s Yogyakarta region.
According to Asia News, the artist recently moved his family to Karet, a village in Pleret sub-district (Bantul Regency), but the local chief and residents unwelcomed their presence and ordered them to leave based on a local regulation.
The village administrator, Daryanto, said that there had been a joint decision in the village since 2012 that non-Muslims should not live in the area, including buying and selling land.
In a video he posted on social media on Monday that has since caused controversy around the country, the artist said, “I just moved here to Pleret and brought all my stuff and paintings to Karet.” He continued, “Today I am very sad to know that I do not have the ‘right’ to stay and live here simply because I am not a Muslim and my whole family is Catholic.”
The popular video prompted Bantul Regency officials to organize a meeting to solve the issue to meet the needs of both the Catholic family and local Muslims.
The painter and his family eventually decided to leave and find accommodation elsewhere, although an agreement was reached to allow Slamet and his family to live in the village under the supervision of the authorities.
This is not the first time Bantul Regency shows religious sectarianism. In January 2017, radical Muslims launched a massive pressure campaign against Yulius Suharto, head of the Pajangan sub-district, asking him to be removed because he was a Catholic.