JAKARTA, Indonesia – In a defeat for the rule of law in Indonesia, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has declined to enforce a Supreme Court ruling that a local government allow a West Java church to worship in its building.
The Bogor city government revoked the building permit of the Christian Church of Indonesia (Gereja Kristen Indonesia, or GKI) Yasmin church in February 2008; the Supreme Court ordered it be reinstated in December 2010, but Bogor Mayor Dhani Budiarto has refused.
President Yudhoyono said on Feb. 13 that he would hand the matter back to the Bogor municipal government and the Ministry of Religion. more >>
For many critics, Indonesia’s religious persecution is exemplified by the GKI Yasmin Church, which is an example of the local government’s continued apathy towards the plight of the Christian minority.
The GKI Yasmin Church, located in Bogor, Indonesia, has suffered a round of attacks in the past years. The most recent attack happened on Sunday, Jan. 15, when two members of the country's House of Representatives, Eva Kusuma Sundari and Lily Wahid, joined the GKI Christian congregation during their morning service.
The service was interrupted when members of Muslim hardline groups, the Indonesian Muslim Communication Forum (Forkami) and the Islamic Reform Movement (Garis), assaulted the Christian worshippers. more >>
Clashes broke out Sunday after protesters trying to keep Christians from their church spotted an allegedly offensive bumper sticker on a worshipper's car, causing Muslims to rally around the GKI Yasmin Church in Bogor, Indonesia.
The bumper sticker, which read “we need a friendly Islam, not an angry Islam,” was reportedly a souvenir from the family of late former President Abdurrahman Wahid. As GKI Yasmin spokesman Bona Sigalingging told the Jakarta Globe, the stickers were passed out at the anniversary of Wahid’s death on Friday.
Members of the hardline Muslim group Islamic Reform Movement crowded the GKI Yasmin Church Sunday, protesting the bumper stickers. Police officials arrived to protect the congregation, but church-goers eventually took their New Year's Eve mass to a nearby home to avoid violence. more >>
A young girl swept away by the devastating 2004 tsunami has been found alive and has been reunited with her family in Indonesia.
The girl known as Wati, now 15, was swept away from her mother’s arms during the Dec. 26, 2004 tsunami.
Her mother, Yusniar, was trying to move her three children to safety when the 8-year-old girl slipped out of her arms and disappeared into the ravaging tsunami waters. more >>
JAKARTA, Indonesia – The Bogor mayor’s refusal to obey a Supreme Court order to restore a congregation’s permit casts doubt on the ability of the Indonesian government to enforce the rule of law, according to a leading rights group.
Muslim demonstrators and area police have continued to obstruct the services of the Indonesian Christian Church (Gereja Kristen Indonesia, or GKI) congregation in the Yasmin area of Bogor, West Java, which is worshiping on a roadside or in a member’s home as the Bogor city government sealed its building last year. The city is also reportedly threatening to tear its church building down.
A spokesman for the Setara Institute for Peace and Democracy told a press conference on Nov. 30 that the process for resolving the conflict has gone on far too long since the Dec. 9, 2010 Supreme Court ruling to reinstate the building permit of the GKI Yasmin church. Bogor Mayor Diani Budiarto also rejected the July 8 recommendation of the National Ombudsman Institute to reinstate the permit, leaving the congregation to worship on a small strip of land as 15 to 20 Muslim demonstrators taunt them. more >>
Ten Islamic extremists have gone on trial in Indonesia for allegedly attempting to bomb Christ Cathedral Church just outside the nation's capital of Jakarta earlier this year.
Prosecutor Teguh Suhendro said Thursday that the 10 individuals, including TV journalist Imam Firdaus, who allegedly planned to film the destruction, are all in their 30s and are being charged for trying to destroy the church and harm those inside before this past Easter holiday, The Associated Press reports.
The men, who are each being tried separately in the West Jakarta District Court, allegedly placed 150 kg (3330 pounds) of explosives in bags near the Catholic church's entrance and under a nearby gas pipeline. They had planned to remotely detonate the devices using a mobile phone as Good Friday services began in the 3,000-seat church, but officials recovered them before they could be set off. more >>