Indonesia: Official charged with “intrusion” after illegally ordering church service to stop

Monday, May 22, 2023 | Tag Cloud Tags: , , ,

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – An official on western Indonesia’s Sumatra Island has been criminally charged with “intrusion” after he entered a church service and illegally ordered the worship to cease, Morning Star News (MSN) reports. 

Wawan Kurniawan, head of the Rukun Tetangga area of Rajabasa Jaya village, was charged with entering the Tabernacle of David Christian Church in Bandar Lampung Regency, Lampung Province, on February 19, and stopping the worship service without permission, MSN reports. Kurniawan accused the church of not having a required permit.

“If a church is seen to be preaching and spreading the gospel, they soon run into opposition from Islamic extremist groups, especially in rural areas,” the US Open Doors aid organization explains in a website statement about the situation for Christians in Indonesia. “In some regions of Indonesia, non-traditional churches struggle to get permission for church buildings, with the authorities often ignoring their paperwork.”

In any event, considering Indonesia ranks 33rd on the US Open Doors World Watch List 2023 of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted, it is noteworthy that Kurniawan was charged with illegally entering a Christian space. 

Brought by the Lampung High Prosecutor’s Office, the charge against Kurniwan potentially carries several months of imprisonment and a $30 fine, MSN reports.

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