Indonesia: Churches Protest Wrongful Closings

Friday, July 10, 2015

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - Two churches in Indonesia have been protesting the wrongful closing of their buildings by holding joint services just outside of the presidential palace in Jakarta.

According to International Christian Concern, the congregations of the Gereja Kristen Indonesia Yasmin Bogor and the Huria Kristen Batak Protestant Philadelphia Bekasi have been meeting in view of the nation's president on every other Sunday for nearly two years. They meet so that the powers that reside in the palace would finally enforce the two rulings made in their favor by the Indonesian Supreme Court back in 2010 and 2011, respectively.

GKI Yasmin Bogor was first closed in 2008 after the city planning office claimed that the church lacked the proper building permits. But the legitimacy of those permits only came into question after Muslims objected to the presence of the church.

HKBP Philadelphia Bekasi was sealed in 2010 after a government official claimed that the church had forged the signatures of its Muslim neighbors who had signed a petition agreeing to the church's establishment.

Today, the Sunday service protests continue as hundreds of believers gather to sing songs and hear scripture. The two congregations have met nearly 100 times, but to no avail.

Chris Warner, ICC's Regional Manager for Southeast Asia, urged the government to honor the decisions of the Indonesian Supreme Court and reopen the doors of both houses of worship without further delay.