A mayor in Indonesia is fighting to ban the construction of Christian churches on streets that bear Islamic names, and is prohibiting the use of an existing church in the city of Bogor.
In the world’s largest Muslim-majority country, religious intolerance continues to block the opening of the Taman Yasmin Indonesian Christian Church. The church was supposed to be unlocked in 2008 in Bogor, but the legality of the permit to build was protested by residents.
In December, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Taman Yasmin, and approved the church’s construction. Also, the church recently received a recommendation by the National Ombudsman Institute urging the building’s permit to be reinstated, Charisma News reported. more >>
JAKARTA, Indonesia - A mayor in West Java who disregarded a Supreme Court ruling to reinstate the building permit of a church in Bogor has now dismissed a recommendation by the National Ombudsman Institute to do so.
Bogor Mayor Diani Budiarto rejected the recommendation to reinstate the permit for the Indonesian Christian Church (Gereja Kristen Indonesia, or GKI) Yasmin Bogor Church last month, leaving the congregation to worship on a small strip of land as 15 to 20 Muslim demonstrators taunt them.
“The Ombudsman’s recommendation is only a suggestion,” the mayor told Tempo magazine. more >>
Indonesia has given 17 men prison sentences of up to five months for burning churches and attacking police officers, Thursday.
The offences were carried out in February when 1,500 Muslim militants attacked and set on fire two churches, as well as ransacking a third in Temanggung, Java.
The mob was furious that a Christian man had not been given the death penalty in a court appearance for insulting Islam. more >>
Indonesian police foiled Islamic extremists’ plan to bomb a church ahead of Easter celebrations in Serpong, just outside of the Indonesian capital of Jakarta.
On Thursday, authorities discovered about 150 kg (3330 pounds) of explosives not far from Christ Cathedral Church.
Bombs were found beneath a gas pipeline and in bags near the church entrance. Police safely diffused the explosives after 10 painstaking hours, according to officials. more >>
JAKARTA, Indonesia – A month that saw the Bogor city mayor defying a Supreme Court decision granting a building permit for a church in Bogor, West Java culminated in police turning away those seeking to worship and church leaders on Friday filing a police complaint on the mayor with National Police.
Bogor Mayor Diani Budiarto issued a decree revoking the building permit for the Christian Church of Indonesia (GKI) in Yasmin Park on March 11, citing unrest among local Muslims and charging the church with having lied about obtaining area residents’ approval when the permit was originally processed. Bogor city officials have also decided to try purchasing the land where the church meets.
Church leaders and rights groups scoffed at the city’s claims and its attempt to remove the church from the area after years of protests from Islamic groups. At a press conference last month, Bona Sigalingging, spokesperson for the GKI Yasmin church, read a statement in which the church and 12 interfaith and rights organizations rejected the mayor’s decree. more >>
JAKARTA, Indonesia – Human rights and Christian leaders said a West Java court’s light sentence for Islamic extremists who injured a church pastor and an elder will encourage more violence and religious intolerance.
After those involved in the Sept. 12, 2010 clubbing of the Rev. Luspida Simanjuntak and the stabbing of elder Hasian Lumbantoruan Sihombing of the Batak Christian Protestant Church (Huria Kristen Batak Protestan, or HKBP) in Ciketing received sentences of only five to seven months, the Setara Institute for Democracy and Peace released a statement asserting that the judges’ panel was acting under pressure from Muslim extremists.
“The public will think that violence, intolerance, and obstruction of worship are part of their religious worship and duties,” the institute stated regarding the Feb. 24 sentences. more >>