Although the Philippines where I live is 85% Christian and 15% Muslim, in nearby Indonesia, the numbers are the opposite: Fifteen percent of their population is Non Muslim, and this includes both Chrstians and Hindus.

Traditionally, Indonesia converted to a syncratic and Sufi version of Islam, meaning that they added the idea of monotheism and a merciful powerful Deity to their traditional beliefs, rather than the puritanical rule oriented Islam of the Wahhabi or Iranian mullahs.

That is why America’s Obama could have attended both a Catholic school and a Muslim school in Indonesia without any locals blinking an eyelid: the fanaticism was missing at both schools.

With the rise of Islamofascism, the Wahabi type puritans have attracted converts mainly in the Indonesian cities (the closest equivalent to this is some of the stricter Christian sects finding converts in the Philippines). They preach down to the locals, but most just go their own way, thank the deity.

So although there continues to be attacks on churches and strife in that large country, such as the Catholic church forced to shut down recently in West Jakarta, the good news is the lack of attacks on Christian churches for the Christmas holidays.

This was not entirely due to the change of heart of the more fanatical Muslims, however:
StrategyPage reports:

December 25, 2007:  Seventeen thousand additional police were deployed around Christian churches, to protect against Islamic terrorism. There were attacks seven years ago that left 18 dead. This year, there were not any open threats.

So Christians in Indonesia were able to worship in peace this year.

The bad news, and one that is unreported in most western papers, is that the Islamic radicals are starting to target heretical mosques.
From the same Strategypage link:

 In the last few decades, conservative missionaries from Saudi Arabia have convinced many urban Indonesian Moslems that these pre-Islamic (“old time religion”) practices are bad, even heretical. But because the majority of Indonesians still favor these old ways, the Islamic conservatives are moving slowly to “purify” Indonesian Islam.

Yup…those friends of America, the Saudis, are at the root of the trouble.

And the leader of the attack? Someone well known: former Jemaah Islamiyah leader Abu Bakar Bashir. 

Thanks to the Indoy Supreme court, he is again lose, and that is bad news for everyone, including those of us who live in the Philippines.

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Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her website is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket

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