An Indonesian news agency reports on Baha’i converts in the country:

Palu (ANTARA News) – At least 31 residents of Banpers village in Palolo sub-district, Donggala district, Central Sulawesi, have converted their belief in Islam into that in Bahai.

Head of the Religious Affairs Office in Palolo sub-district, Nuyyun Nur said here on Sunday that the Bahai faith led by Mulahi, a former marriage counsellor for the first time entered Banpers village in the 1990s, and had persuaded 31 local residents to convert into the new belief.

Those who have embraced the Bahai faith were former moslems, so that the community in Banpers Village, 50 km east of Palu City, became worried about the apostasy.

Read the rest of the report here.

Omid, a Persian-American Baha’i, says in a comment:

It is so annoying when journalists get it all wrong. First of all its not “Bahaist” or “Bahaism”. The Baha’i Faith does not have a leader, we have democratic institutions as guidance, elected from among the Baha’is to serve one year terms. Second of all, secrecy has nothing to do with it. Our obligatory prayers are to be performed alone, yes. But that is as closed as it gets.

Marco, a Portuguese Baha’i blogger, notes:

This seems to me like and alarm bell against apostasy in a Muslim country. After persecutions in Iran, religious apartheid in Egypt, are we going to receive bad news from Indonesia?

We certainly hope not. It is an individual right for people to choose their religious paths, there should be no punishment or harassment concerning other people’s belief systems. We hope that the Indonesian government realizes this and strengthens their laws to protect religious minorities within the country.