28 May 2017
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  • » 12/27/2010, 00.00

    INDONESIA

    West Java: Catholics celebrate Christmas Mass in a parking lot

    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 Bogor Regency chief’s prohibition of Christmas celebration was thus not repealed despite repeated attempts by Tulang Kuning Church leaders to negotiate with local authorities.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

    06/04/2010 INDONESIA
    Indonesian Christians turn to administrative courts to obtain permits to build churches
    Court rulings help Christian communities build their churches. Administrative courts tend to overturn decisions by municipal authorities taken to appease Muslim extremists who want to stop the construction of churches and other Christian places of worship. Extremist mobs stop Good Friday services in West Java.

    11/07/2011 INDONESIA
    Muslim threats against Yasmin Church in West Java continue
    The faithful still have to pray by the roadside after their church was shut down. Radical Muslim groups continue to disrupt their activities and issue threats against them. The mayor of Bogor still refuses to accept a ruling by the country’s Supreme Court upholding the Church’s right to build its own places of worship.

    24/05/2010 INDONESIA
    West Java: Islamic authorities shut down church, Christians celebrate in the street
    Bogor mayor closes the church of an important local Christian group, banning all its activities. The faithful protest and take their faith to the streets. Rights groups issue official protest.

    28/11/2007 INDONESIA
    After 40 years a Catholic Church in West Java is forced to close
    Christ’s Peace Church has been active since 1968 now local Muslims are contesting the use of the buildings for religious purposes. With the backing of police and local politicians the extremists have won their battle: the parish does not have the legal permit and therefore must close down. For years the church had sought to obtain the permit without success, gaining only a staunch refusal from the government.

    02/11/2007 INDONESIA
    Small theocratic fiefdoms emerging in Bogor and Padang
    The leader of the “heretical” sect al-Qiyadah surrenders to police. Debate inflames opinions in Indonesia. Some Indonesians fear the growing influence exercised by Muslim religious leaders on public life and warn against small “theocratic fiefdoms.” Police actions against the sect have in fact been carried out without input from proper civilian and judicial authorities.



    Editor's choices

    VATICAN
    Pope: together with the faithful in China on 24 May to celebrate Our Lady of Sheshan



    During the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis speaks about the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, instituted by Benedict XVI. Chinese Catholics must make a “personal contribution to communion among believers and to harmony in the whole society." AsiaNews Symposium on the Church in China is set for this week. Francis appeals for peace in the Central African Republic, and for loving “one another following the example of the Lord”. For him, “Sometimes conflicts, pride, envy, and divisions leave a blotch on the beautiful face of the Church.” Five new cardinals will be named, including a bishop from Laos.


    VATICAN-CHINA
    May 24, 2017: 'China, the Cross is Red', AsiaNews Symposium

    Bernardo Cervellera

    The event will be held to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. A title with many meanings: the Cross is red from the blood of the martyrs; From attempts to suffocate the faith with state control; Bceause of the contribution of hope that Christianity gives to a population tired of materialism and consumerism that is seeking new moral criteria. The theme is also about the great and unexpected religious rebirth in the country. Guests to include: Card. Pietro Parolin, Msgr. Savio Hon, the sociologist of religions Richard Madsen, the testimonies of Chinese priests and laity.


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