Indonesia: West Sumatra church congregation threatened by neighbors

Thursday, September 14, 2023 | Tag Cloud

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – The Indonesian Bethel Church Solagracia in Padang, West Sumatra has reported that a service it held in a rented home on August 29 was disrupted by neighbors who broke a window while threatening them and demanding they stop worshiping, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports.

The incident last month occurred when 15 members of the Bethel Chruch met for a service on the Tuesday afternoon service, ICC reports. “As they engaged in prayer and song, a woman residing nearby, accompanied by her husband and two younger siblings, approached the house,” ICC said in its report.

“The situation quickly took an alarming turn as they began to shout and forcefully pound on the door,” ICC said. “Eventually, the situation escalated, leading to the attackers breaking a window in the home, forcing the church members to flee.”

The church reported the incident to Padang Police the next day, but officers dismissed the matter, attributing the neighbors’ conduct to “mental disorder,” rather than harassment of Christians on account of their faith, ICC said.

ICC notes that, in a report published by the Setara Institute last year, the city of Padang was ranked the “third most intolerant city in Indonesia.”

Indonesia’s Constitution provides for freedom of religion, but the Muslim-majority country has become more conservative in recent years, with considerable hostility shown to Christians.

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