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    » 07/23/2009, 00.00

    INDONESIA

    West Java, Protestant church demolished by local government

    Mathias Hariyadi

    According to officials, the building did not have construction permits. The community of believers’ claims they repeatedly asked permission, but received no responses. Solidarity for the Christians from the Forum for Interreligious Dialogue.

    Jakarta (AsiaNews) - A Protestant community from Parung in the regency of Bogor, West Java province, denounces a new case of confessional discrimination in Indonesia. Local authorities have demolished a church because – they say – it has no construction permit. Believers contend that they had sought several times to obtain a permit without any response; they add that they had received the consent of the local Muslim community.

    The demolition of the church took place on July 21 last and was motivated by the lack of an Izin Mendirikan Bangunan (IMB), a sort of government concession that must be obtained before the construction of buildings. Without the IMB authorities may demolish buildings, without distinction between churches and private homes. 

    "We are Indonesian citizens and have the same rights as other religious confessions, before the law," says Walman Nainggolan, from the Huria Kristen Batak Protestan (Hkbp) community, the original indigenous population of the province of North Sumatra. Yesterday, the faithful have reported the incident to the Indonesian National Commission for Human Rights (Komnas Ham), requesting that their demands be heard and a new place of worship granted.

    The decision of the local government is even at odds with the will of the Muslims of the area who were not opposed to the church building. "We received support and solidarity from the forum for interreligious dialogue, but the authorities took no notice" adds Nainggolan.   The Human Rights Commission announced an appeal to the Department of Religious Affairs and warns that "the authorities in Bogor must ensure a place to pray for all, instead of tearing down the church" of the Batak faithful.

     

     

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    See also

    11/11/2011 INDONESIA
    West Java, Muslim and Christian intellectuals against mayor’s attempts to cancel Protestant church
    Diani Budiarto, regardless of a ruling by the Constitutional Court, will not guarantee freedom of Christian worship to the Yasmin Church of. Muslim Professor calls on the government to punish the official, but warns that one case of intolerance should not be generalized. Priest recalls the attacks on 47 churches in 2010 and claims the right to religious freedom.

    27/08/2010 INDONESIA
    Jakarta, Christians, Buddhists and Muslims demand tolerance from extremists
    The meeting organized by activists for inter-religious dialogue. Moderate Muslims against Islamic radicals. It 's easier to get permits to build beauty centres than build a church.

    23/07/2012 INDONESIA
    Aceh, Christians protest over burned church and authorities inertia
    The fire dates to July 18 in Singkil regency. Pews and musical instruments destroyed in the fire. Since May last year the local government, under pressure from Islamists, has sealed off 20 Christian places of worship, four of which are Catholics.

    21/09/2011 INDONESIA
    Threats against Christian churches: return of strategy of tension even in Sulawesi
    Telephone messages warning of attacks against Catholic and Protestant churches, but they are hoaxes. Police are investigating but it is not clear whether it is political propaganda or conflict of a religious nature. Sulawesi Priest calls for "fellow citizens" not to get carried away "by feelings of hatred."

    24/02/2011 INDONESIA
    Bekasi, assault on a Protestant church: mild sentences for Islamic leaders
    The head of the Islamic Defenders Front, the main defendant, received a sentence of 5 months and 15 days. Six and seven months in jail for two other accomplices. In the attack, which occurred last September, a Protestant pastor was seriously injured. The Christian community’s lawyer assesses the appeal.



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