Indonesia: Church allowed to reopen after 13 years of legal proceedings

Wednesday, April 19, 2023 | Tag Cloud Tags:

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – After 13 years of legal proceedings, a church in Indonesia has finally been granted a permit and allowed to reopen after being shut down by government authorities in 2010, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports.

Located in the city of Bogor, just south of Jakarta, the Yasmin Church was shut down by local authorities who claimed the church’s building permit was invalid, ICC said. The church contested the matter, and the case reached the Indonesian Supreme Court, which ruled that the permit was indeed valid.

Nevertheless, Bogor still authorities refused to allow the church to open, apparently bowing to objections made by the city’s majority Muslim community, ICC said.

The church fought on, however, and was finally able to open its doors on Easter Sunday – April 9 – this year, ICC reports. Moreover, the city’s Mayor Bima Arya attended the opening ceremony of the church.

“The opening of Yasmin Church’s new building this past Easter Sunday is undoubtedly a welcome victory after 15 years of conflict with residents and local authorities,” ICC said in its report. “However, it marks a concerning trend in Indonesia, whereby Christian congregations frequently struggle to obtain building permits for their church buildings due to local and governmental pressures. Despite guaranteeing religious freedom for all in its Constitution, Indonesia still has a long way to go on its road toward practically ensuring this right for all its citizens.”

Islamic-majority Indonesia ranks 33rd on the US Open Doors World Watch List 2023 of the top 50 countries where it is most difficult to live as a Christian.

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