Report calls on Indonesia to protect religious minorities from violence and discrimination

A Human Rights Watch report says Indonesia's government, security forces and courts must do more to protect religious minorities from growing episodes of intolerance and violence.

The report released Thursday cited a steady increase in brutal attacks over the past few years due to what it said was the government's failure to confront thuggish harassment against Christians, Shia Muslims and the Ahmadiyah, an Islamic sect. It also noted that discriminatory regulations have not only affected those minorities, but also Sunni Muslim communities in some Christian-dominated areas of eastern Indonesia.

Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim-majority nation.

The government responded to the report by saying religious harmony in the country was strong and it was unfair to generalize all attacks on minorities as being linked to intolerance.