By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent
JAKARTA, INDONESIA (Worthy News)– Protestants from two officially restricted churches in West Java gave 6,000 postcards to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, asking him for permission to worship in their own buildings for Christmas.
During a joint worship service in front of the Presidential Palace in Jakarta Tuesday, a member of one of the two restricted churches hand delivered the postcards to the State Secretariat.
The restricted congregations — GKI Yasmin and the Philadelphia in Bekasihave — were forced to celebrate past holidays outside their places of worship.
“The postcards are part of our struggle to urge the president to end the discrimination we have faced,” said Bona Sigalingging, a GKI Jasmin spokesman.
Sinta Nuriyah, widow of the former Indonesian president, also penned a postcard to the current president.
“Worshiping is the right of every Indonesian citizen, so I hope President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono enforces this right,” she wrote. “Give this right to our friends, the congregations of GKI Yasmin, so that they can worship in their own church.”
Members of the congregation at GKI Yasmin have been banned from using their own church building because of "irregularities" with their 2006 building permit.
Despite a Supreme Court ruling in favor of the congregation, the local mayor has continued to deny them access to their church building.