Indonesia: North Sumatra Christian worship service again disrupted by Muslims

Tuesday, July 18, 2023 | Tag Cloud

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – A Christian congregation in North Sumatra Province, Indonesia, had its worship service disrupted by Muslim protestors for the second time in two months on July 2, Morning Star News (MSN) reports. 

With no church building of its own, the Mawar Sharon Church (Gereja Mawar Sharon, GMS) congregation has drawn the ire of local Muslims who object to its meeting at a café in Binjai Kota Sub-District, Binjai, MSN reports.

A video taken of the July 2 disruptive incident shows Muslims demonstrating against the Christians, and a hijab-clad woman standing beside a police officer while blocking the Christians from attending their worship service.

“You the minorities should not always ask to be respected. We must respect each other as the government has regulated it,” the woman is heard to say. “What’s the point of setting the rules, if the rules have to be violated again?” she asked.

However, in a statement about the incident, Indonesian religious rights activist Permadi Arya noted that Indonesia’s Joint Ministerial Decree of 2006 requires a permit only for worship venues used on a permanent basis. “According to The Joint Decree of the Two Ministers, Chapter 1, Article 3, what needs a permit is the construction of a church,” Arya said. “Holding worship at home, shop-houses and cafes needs no permission.”

Islamic majority Indonesia ranks 31st on the US Open Doors World Watch List 2023 of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.

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