Jakarta gives green light to Kampung Duri church
The local Catholic community has obtained the Izin Mendirikan Bangunan, the document required to build new places of worship. For years, Christians in the capital have gathered in parish halls and faced protests from Muslims.
Jakarta (Indonesia) - Yesterday, Jakarta's governor, Anies Baswedan, granted permission to build a church in Kampung Duri parish in Tambora, West Jakarta. The Izin Mendirikan Bangunan (Imb) was handed over to parish priest Matheus Widyolestari during a ceremony also attended by the archbishop of the Jakarta diocese, Card. Ignatius Suharyo.
"If we want the Jakarta area to become a home for all, then the impartial opportunity to obtain building permits must be real," said Governor Baswedan, who laid the first stones of the building. "I hope that the construction of this place of worship will be smooth and will benefit the congregation".
In Lubang Buaya, East Jakarta, the Kalvari parish church will also receive a building permit, Fr Ferdinand Wishijer told AsiaNews: "Governor Baswedan is expected to grant the Ibm this afternoon".
Often in Indonesia permission for Christian buildings are revoked because of pressure from radical groups. This is what happened, for example, to the Church of St Bernadette in Ciledung parish: the State Administrative Court revoked Imb after a group of radical Islamists first staged a protest and then filed a lawsuit.
Kampung Duri was initially part of the Mother of the Sacred Heart Parish in Tomang. It became a separate parish in 1987. For a long time, local Catholics could not build a church and were forced to use a parish hall for celebrations. On several occasions, groups of Muslims have prevented regular weekend services, blocking or interrupting masses with mass protests.