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  • » 02/12/2010, 00.00

    INDONESIA

    West Java, a crowd of 150 Muslims block construction of Protestant church

    Mathias Hariyadi

    Demonstration of extremists prompts authorities to revoke the building permits. Local official: the signatures collected are "irregular". The final decision of waiting for today. The Conference of Bishops makes a formal protest in Parliament.

    Jakarta (AsiaNews) - A crowd of over 150 Muslims in the village of Curug Mekar, in the sub district of West Bogor (West Java province), staged a protest against the building permit (IMB) of a Protestant church. The event has prompted local authorities to revoke the authorization, justifying the decision by alleged "irregularities" in the collection of signatures needed for the building of the place of Christian worship.  

    At the center of the controversy is the Protestant Church of Yasmin in the village of Curug Mekar. Yesterday Bambang Gunawan, executive secretary of local government, assured the protesters that "we need to review the process that led to the issuance of the building permit." The issue will be discussed today before the mayor, who will decide whether to definitively confirm or withdraw the permit. The words uttered by the Executive Secretary unleashed demonstrators’ joy.  

    The document issued by the Indonesian authorities for the construction of buildings (IMB) requires a structured process, which is further complicated in the case of Christian places of worship. Governmental permits, must be approved "without prejudice" by collecting signatures of residents of the area affected by the project. It may take up to 10 years to get all the needed documents in order.

    Bambang Gunawan said that the earlier granted permission has no legal status because "the signatures of the residents are irregular and some were falsified”. A statement welcomed by Muslims, who say they are "happy because the aim was reached." The church, in fact, is currently locked and no one knows if it will be opened in the future. Imam Ahmad Hajj, a chief of the Indonesian Muslim Communication Forum (Forkami) in Bogor, is "sure" that "the IMB will be withdrawn."  

    The Indonesian Bishops' Conference has also intervened against the repeated and sudden revocation of building permits, making a formal protest in Parliament. A crowd of Muslims blocked the building of the Catholic church of Saint Mary at Purwakarta in West Java province. The faithful had obtained all permits, denounce the bishops, but the realization of the place of worship is still pending and the local authorities fail to protect the legitimate rights of minorities.

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    See also

    10/03/2011 INDONESIA
    Yogyakarta: Muslim leader gets Protestant church to close
    A Muslim guru accuses Christian clergyman of proselytising, describing his church as illegal and without a building permit. In reality, the pastor is in favour of interfaith dialogue, funding the education of five Muslim children without trying to convert them. Sources tell AsiaNews that the whole thing was a setup by the self-styled Muslim leader, even though no one knows who is or where he comes from.

    18/07/2016 14:31:00 INDONESIA
    Islamists stop construction of shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary near Yogyakarta

    Catholic leader and shrine promoter Cahyo Binuko receives threats and is the victim of intimidation. Local authorities issued a building permit months ago, but local extremists have tried to stop the construction, accusing Catholics of playing games with local residents’ minds. Now they are putting pressures on the authorities to withdraw the building permit.



    08/03/2006 INDONESIA
    Indonesian Christians sceptical about new decree on places of worship
    The revision of controversial decree regulating building places of worship is completed. Christians react as Muslim leaders express their support.

    17/01/2012 INDONESIA
    Yasmin church: radical Islamists attack two members of parliament during Sunday celebration
    Two members of the Islamic party and the Democratic Party pkb PDI-P who were participating in a ceremony Sunday with the congregation of the Church Yasmin were insulted and verbally assaulted. The congregation has had to interrupt the liturgy, and move elsewhere, but even there the radicals have prevented the celebration. The inertia of the central government and the complicity of the mayor.

    07/03/2016 16:56:00 INDONESIA
    Bekasi: Islamic extremists demonstrate against the construction of a Catholic church

    Hundreds of people come into the streets against the St Clara community. Some protesters even tried to attack the site of the future church, but police kept them back. Graffiti saying ‘No church construction allowed’ appeared near the site. Local authorities give Catholics a green light to go ahead.





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