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Sulawesi Separatists

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Sulawesi's Christian majority in the North want independence from Muslim Indonesia / the South.

This is the flag of the separatist movement of Sulawesi, formerly Celebes. The Christians in the north want independence from the Muslims in the south after years of bloody conflict between the two sides, which Jakarta has sided with the Muslims south of course, in which human rights groups point to the clear state orchestrated torture, victimization and oppression of Sulawesi's Christians, including partial justice and even the beheadings of Christian schoolgirls.

The northernmost area of Sulawesi is predominantly Christian, was pro-Dutch, has many social and historical links with the Philippines including dialect and is called Minahasa. The general region of Minahasa contains the regencies of Minahasa, North Minahasa, South Minahasa, Bitung, Manado, Tomohon, and Bolaang Mongondow. It wishes to form an independent republic called the Gerakan Kemerdekaan Minahasa as is their international legal right (self-determination). In 2006 several leading Minahasan figures petitioned for a referendum at Christmas that year.

Christian Minahasans are recognized to be oppressed and badly treated by Jakarta in favour of the Muslims of the South. Muslim murderers of Christians in Sulawesi have got away with virtual impunity, while Christians have been executed for lesser crimes, such as with the internationally condemned cases of Fabianus Tibo, Dominggus da Silva, & Marinus Riwu. It is even reported that the execution of these men was also a sham in that they had been tortured to death by Indonesian police before their execution day.

Indonesian Christians generally complain about the lack of building permits issued for new churches after old ones have been burnt down and also about not being allowed to pray at home.

For details of human rights abuse against Christians in Sulawesi, go to Human Rights Watch and search for "Sulawesi".

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