Indonesian Mayor Decides Churches Can't Be Built on Streets with Islamic Names

Monday, August 22, 2011

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

indonesiaBOGOR, INDONESIA (Worthy News)-- Bogor's mayor has a new reason not to allow the Yasmin church to open: the name of the street on which it is built bears an Islamic name.

Bogor Mayor Diani Budiarto — who continues to defy rulings from both the Supreme Court and Ombudsman Commission to open the church — told Home Affairs Minister Gamawan Fauzi that a new church can’t be built on a street bearing an Islamic name.

However, Muhammad Mustofa – a local Muslim cleric whose father is the street’s namesake -- has no objection to the church. He said differences between religions were not new and similar problems had occurred since the time of Prophet Mohammad.

Church spokesman Bona Sigalingging said Budiarto's reasoning was wrong since some churches already stand on streets with Islamic names; mosques were also built on streets with Christian names.

Sigalingging said the Yasmin church will refuse any alternative venues for its construction.

"The problem is it against the law, against the court ruling and against the recommendation of Ombudsman. It also breaches legal certainty."