30 June 2016
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas




  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  •    - Brunei
  •    - Cambodia
  •    - East Timor
  •    - Indonesia
  •    - Laos
  •    - Malaysia
  •    - Myanmar
  •    - Philippines
  •    - Singapore
  •    - Thailand
  •    - Vietnam
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia

  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato


    » 12/05/2013, 00.00

    INDONESIA

    South Sulawesi: Islamists and local authorities pull down Protestant church

    Mathias Hariyadi

    Pangkep District leaders order the demolition of the GKSS's only place of worship. For extremists, the building did not have the necessary permits. For the faithful, this was a "senseless operation" in violation of religious freedom. Christian activist slams the Indonesian president and government for failing to protect minorities.

    Jakarta (AsiaNews) - District authorities in Pangkep, in the Indonesian province of South Sulawesi, tore down the place of worship used by the (Protestant) Christian Church in South Sulawesi (GKSS). Demolition took place in the early hours of the morning after local authorities issued an injunction on 28 November to stop all worship activities because the building would be closed shortly.

    The faithful reacted with a mixture of dismay and disappointment, calling the authorities' decision "nonsense", especially since the (Protestant) Christian Church of South Sulawesi (GKSS) had officially applied to Pangkep District for a permit to renovate the roof of the "church".

    By contrast, the authorities justified their decision to have the church demolished by claiming that it lacked the infamous building permit (Izin Mendirikan Bangunan in Indonesian), a legal requirement for building in Indonesia.

    The matter is even more complicated when it comes to Christian places of worship (Catholic or Protestant) because the permit requires the explicit consent of Muslims who live in the area near the would-be Christian place of worship.

    In reality, now as in the past, the permit issue was but a pretext to block new buildings or demolish existing ones.

    Zakaria Ngelow, a history professor and member of the Synod of the Protestant Churches (PGI), called the demolition an act of "barbarism" because it was the only Christian place of worship in Pangkep District. The local community tried in every way to meet the legal requirements, he explained, but "so far these efforts have made ​​little progress due to local opposition."

    Protestants have lived in the area since the early 1960s. In 1985, they set up their first semi- permanent place of worship inside a school. In 1989, the building became an actual house of prayer after the "verbal" approval by Pangkep's district chief.

    Problems started in 2011, becoming a hot issue in August of that year when the Islamic Forum launched a massive campaign of protest, accusing the GKSS of having turned the centre into an actual church in violation of the law. The extremist group used the request made by Christians to renovate the building, especially the roof, as a pretext to attack.

    For Islamists, including people the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), renovation meant a change in use, turning the building into an actual place of worship, which required a building permit and the written consent of the Muslims.

    For the GKSS, no new permit was necessary because the work did not entail the construction of a new building but simply work on the roof.

    When the work got under way in late November to add another five metres, the authorities quickly stepped in to stop it, and this morning the building was torn down.

    In an official statement sent to AsiaNews, Woro Wahyuningtyas, head of a Christian NGO, Network Indonesia, slammed the authorities' demolition order and their "zero tolerance" towards the local religious minority.

    All the efforts made by GKSS leaders to follow the rules, he added, were unsuccessful and were not taken into account by the authorities in Pangkep.

    The story, he noted, is further evidence of the growing violence and abuses towards minority religious groups "without any intervention by President [Susilo Bambang] Yudhoyono and the government."

    Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim nation (86 per cent). Although the constitution guarantees basic personal freedoms, including religious freedom, minorities are increasingly becoming the victims of violence and abuse.

    Protestants make up 5.7 per cent of the population and Catholics are just over 3 per cent. Hindus represent 1.8 per cent with another 3.4 per cent professing other religions.

    Sharia is enforced in Aceh, the only province in the Archipelago to do so, but Islam is becoming increasing radical and extreme in the lives of many Indonesians in several other parts of the country.

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version










    See also

    04/07/2006 INDONESIA
    A Catholic's tour of Indonesia "hunting" for aid for Java quake victims
    Our correspondent, who comes from one of the districts hardest hit by late May's earthquake, toured the island for a month in search of donations with the help of his parish in Wedi. In a letter to AsiaNews he describes his work on behalf of his fellow residents and the "generous" response from Christians and Muslims.

    09/12/2005 INDONESIA
    Church torched in North Sulawesi
    Unknown attackers set on fire a Protestant church in Manada last night. Alertness increases to prevent Christmas attacks. Muslim volunteers join Christians in protecting Christian places of worship. Catholics and Protestants join their voice to proclaim that the "birth of the Lord should enhance awareness throughout Indonesian society of the urgency in establishing fraternal relations among fellow Indonesians."

    21/12/2005 PAKISTAN
    Islamic extremists still unpunished 40 days after the Sangla Hill attack
    Protesters announce a hunger strike "till death" beginning on the first day of the new year if the government continues to ignore the situation. Local religieuse says her school's mission continues: to teach children that love defeats extremism.

    06/04/2010 BANGLADESH
    Catholic worker centre open to Protestants and Muslims
    The Jesus Worker Centre was set up in 1995 in an industrial district about 100 kilometres from the capital through the initiative of PIME missionaries. Hundreds of faithful meet there to pray and share their experiences. The centre’s long-term plans include serving as “ecumenical place”, with a church, a school, a medical dispensary and a technical centre.

    18/01/2005 INDONESIA
    Mystery surrounds alleged disappearance of 300 children from Banda Aceh
    Leaders from all religious communities call for an investigation into the alleged removal of 300 children from Banda Aceh by a US Evangelical organisation. Indonesian Catholics and Protestants deny any link to the group and reject accusations of proselytism.



    Editor's choices

    CHINA - VATICAN
    Vatican silence over Shanghai’s Mgr Ma Daqin causing confusion and controversy

    Bernardo Cervellera

    For some, Mgr Ma’s blog post praising the Patriotic Association and acknowledging his mistakes is nothing but “dirt”. For others, he chose humiliation for the “sake of his diocese”. Many wonder why the Holy See has remained silent about the article’s content and the bishop’s persecution. Some suspect the Vatican views the episode in positive terms. Yet, the Ma Daqin affair raises a major question. Has Benedict XVI’s Letter to Chinese Catholics (which describes the Patriotic Association as “incompatible with Catholic doctrine”) been abolished? If it has, who did it? A journey of compromises without truth is full of risks.


    CHINA – VATICAN
    Mgr Ma Daqin: the text of his “confession”

    Mons. Taddeo Ma Daqin

    Four years after quitting the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, the bishop of Shanghai “admits” his faults on his blog, praising the organisation that controls the Church. We publish his article, almost in its entirety. Translation by AsiaNews.


    AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!

    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.
     

    SUBSCRIBE NOW

    News feed

    Canale RSScanale RSS 

    Add to Google









     

    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®