In February 2021, WWR reported on mandatory hijab rules in the Indonesian city of Padang, West Sumatra province. Now, despite having won the fight against these rules, a Padang Christian has paid a high price, as reported by Human Rights Watch on 17 March 2023.
World Watch Research analyst Thomas Muller explains: “A Christian businessman in Padang, Elianu Jia, complained against the mandatory rules which required his 17-year-old daughter to wear a hijab at school. His plea was eventually heard in the highest government circles in Jakarta and after much pressure, the local authorities adapted the rules and made exceptions for Christian students. However, Jia received hundreds of threatening messages, lost his customers, had to dismiss his five employees and close down his business. Finally, he has had to sell his house. This is a harsh reminder of the long-term consequences such anti-Christian pressure can have. Where Indonesian society rejects fair legal decisions, Christians can be forced to pay a high price.”