Indonesian Mayor again refuses to grant Church Permit

Thursday, August 18, 2011

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

indonesiaJAKARTA, INDONESIA (Worthy News)-- A mayor in West Java who disregarded a Supreme Court ruling to reinstate the building permit of a church in Bogor has also dismissed a recommendation by the National Ombudsman Institute to comply with the ruling.

Bogor Mayor Diani Budiarto refused last month to reinstate the permit for the Indonesian Christian Church Yasmin Bogor Church, leaving the congregation to worship on a small strip of land while Muslims taunt them.

Church spokesman Bona Sigalingging said the mayor sent two letters urging the congregation to cease services on the roadside strip; in the letters, Budiarto claimed the church services were an annoyance and suggested they worship elsewhere, but the congregation ignored the letters because the situation was of the mayor's own making.

"We worship in the roadside strip because the mayor has locked and sealed our church, which is against the Supreme Court decision," said Sigalingging. "If Budiarto had not locked and sealed our church, we would certainly not worship by the roadside."

"The mayor promised that he would abide by whatever decision was handed down by the Supreme Court," Sigalingging said, but rather than complying with the Supreme Court decision, the mayor permanently revoked the Bogor building permit.

"Based on this experience, we no longer believe the mayor," he said. "As long as the mayor refuses to take off the seal, we are going to continue worshipping on the roadside."