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» 12/27/2010
West Java: Catholics celebrate Christmas Mass in a parking lot
by Mathias Hariyadi
An order by Bogor Regency prohibits members of the Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church from engaging in any public activity, ostensibly because they lack a proper place of worship. Muslim extremist groups increasingly threaten Indonesia’s Christians.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Hundreds of members of Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church in Parung (West Java) celebrated Mass under the sun and in a tent set up in the parking lot of the Marsudirini Elementary School. Bogor Regency chief’s prohibition of Christmas celebration was thus not repealed despite repeated attempts by Tulang Kuning Church leaders to negotiate with local authorities.

The latter justified their decision citing the lack of a permit to build a church. Without it, the local parish is not allowed to perform any public functions even on its own land.

According to Indonesia’s constitution however, no one has the right to prohibit any religious community from practicing its faith and celebrating its rites and services. Yet with the rising influence of Islamic radicals, the constitution has been repeatedly violated as local authorities kowtow to Muslim extremists and show greater hostilities towards Christians.

The Parish of Saint John the Baptist has at least 3,000 members. In April of this year, dozens of Muslim extremists threatened those from the community in Tulang Kuning, preventing them from celebrating Easter Mass.

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See also
04/06/2010 INDONESIA
Indonesian Christians turn to administrative courts to obtain permits to build churches
by Mathias Hariyadi
07/11/2011 INDONESIA
Muslim threats against Yasmin Church in West Java continue
by Mathias Hariyadi
05/24/2010 INDONESIA
West Java: Islamic authorities shut down church, Christians celebrate in the street
by Mathias Hariyadi
11/28/2007 INDONESIA
After 40 years a Catholic Church in West Java is forced to close
by Benteng Reges
11/02/2007 INDONESIA
Small theocratic fiefdoms emerging in Bogor and Padang

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