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When Indonesia declared its independence from Holland in 1949, the Dutch insisted that West Papua (West or Dutch New Guinea) not be considered part of Indonesia as the Papuans were Melanesian and predominantly Christian, while the Indonesians were Malay and Asian and predominantly Muslim. So the Dutch remained in the hotly contested territory, preparing the people for independence. The Dutch era was marked by openness and the Papuans, who were evangelised mostly by Australian and American pioneer missionaries courtesy Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) USA, turned from shamanism, headhunting, cannibalism and internecine tribal war to Christ.
Since the 2003 fall of Baghdad, ascendant Iran has been forcefully spreading its tentacles. Iran's Shi'ite dictators are moving to replace the Sunni Arab dictators as the leaders of the Muslim world and to replace the US as the dominating power in the Middle East.
On 10 April, Nepalis will vote in historic constituent assembly elections. And this is no routine election -- it is the culmination of three years of upheaval and peace process. The constituent assembly elected on 10 April will draft the new secular constitution which will replace the 1990 Constitution which describes Nepal as a Hindu Kingdom.
This WEA RLC annual Religious Liberty Trends posting will focus on two global trends: 1) apostasy, apostaphobia, and postmodernism and 2) the New Cold War.
In December 2005 the Heads of State and Government at the Organisation of Islamic Conference's 3rd Extraordinary Summit in Makkah adopted a "Ten Year Program of Action" to address the most "prominent challenges facing the Muslim world today". Through the Ten Year Program of Action (TYPOA) the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) aims to strengthen Islamic solidarity and project the "true image and noble values of Islam" thus enabling the Muslim Ummah to achieve its renaissance".