Bogor: offer to move church may be "a fatal trap"
by Mathias Hariyadi
The Council of Yasmin Church rejects the Interior Ministry offer to find three alternative sites for the construction of the church opposed by the Mayor of Bogor. After the Supreme Court ruling, in favor of Yasmins Church, "The Ministry of Interior must apply the law, not the contrary."
Bogor (AsiaNews) - The Indonesian Ministry of Interior has put forward a way to end the controversy over the construction of the Yasmin Church: namely, to propose three alternative locations to the Church Council (GKI) compared to the initial site, which generated the dispute . But the Church of Yasmin Council says that changing the site is not the solution, but only adds a new chapter to a new problem.

Opposition to the church building stemmed originally from the Mayor of Bogor, Diani Budiarto, who opposes the construction and now this opposition is supported by the Interior Minister Gamawan Fauzi, who said today to agree with Budiarto’s proposal: namely move the construction of the church to another place. According to Fauzi, the authorities in West Java have offered three sites that could be used for Yasmin Church, as an alternative to the place in dispute.

Yasmin Church spokesman, Bona Sigalingging however, tells AsiaNews that this option is not a solution to the problem, namely civil disobedience by Bogor Mayor Diani Budiarto. Even if the authorities in West Java offered three different locations free of charge, as announced by the Minister of the Interior, the GKI would not accept the offer. "We will not accept any proposal of that type. In our opinion, any offer to move the site of the church is illegal. " Bona complained about a series of "infringements of the law" committed by the Interior Ministry, which overlook the verdict issued by the Indonesian Supreme Court. "The state, of which the Interior Ministry is part, must apply the law, and not the opposite, offering alternative solutions to end the dispute," he said.

The GKI’s strong opposition to the relocation project is based on two basic reasons, according to Sigalingging. The first is of a legal nature, neither the Ombudsman nor the Indonesian Supreme Court has ever issued an option to place the construction of the Church elsewhere. Then there is a historical reason. The faithful of Citeking to Bekasi in West Java, received the offer to relocate the permanent site of the church in a hall owned by the local authority from Bekasi authorities. But the continuity of Sunday services is becoming uncertain.

"We will never accept this offer, because it could be a fatal trap for a religious minority group. The faithful have received the promise of Citeking local authorities to have their church, but so far the promise has vanished in the wind. " He also rejects claims by followers of Budiarto, that the Yasmin Church used false signatures for the permit and says this must be brought to the attention of the judges. "It is absolutely immoral and illegal that a charge based on false arguments become the basis of the government's decision to move the site of construction," says the spokesman of the Church Yasmin.

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