16 December 2017

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06/16/2007 INDONESIA

Domestic Churches once again under attack in West Java

In Bandungna over 150 Islamic protesters threaten the local Christian community: “Or you close private homes being used for church activities, or we will”. The Indonesian Churches Communication Forum reports there have been over 70 disputes of this kind since January 2004and asks for the authorities to facilitate the purchase of land to allow the construction of Churches.

Jakarta (AsiaNews/Agencies)Around 150 members of the Mosque Movement Front (FPM) and the Anti-Apostasy Front have taken to the streets of Bandung to demand the closure of private homes being used for church activities. The protest which took place June 14 last, set out from the al-Ikhlash mosque in Soreang Indah arriving at Katapang district offices. 

FPM head Suryana Nur Fatwa said that if the administration and the Religious Community Communication Forum failed to close down the churches, the group would: “Every violator must stop their activities or the FPM will be forced to close the domestic Churches down”. According to Fatwa 26 private homes which had been turned into churches by Christian communities in Bandung regency, “Seventeen of them have stopped operating of their own free will, but nine others are still carrying out their activities”.

For the past three years West Java has noted an increase in violence and fundamentalist pressures against the Christian community’s, above all against the so called domestic Churches are illegal. To counter the problem over a year ago the Indonesian government approved the long awaited 1969 Ministerial Decree (SKB No 1/1969), regulating the construction of places of worship.  But the long legal procedures and the difficulty in gaining permission build still force numerous communities to practise their faith “illegally”.

Simon Timorason, the head of the West Java chapter of the Indonesian Churches Communication Forum, is urging the government to “take the initiative in providing land for minority groups in order to prevent such problems from arising”. Simon has recorded 70 disputes involving residents and Christian communities using private homes as churches since January 2004. Most of the cases took place in Bandung regency, as well as Bekasi, Bogor, Garut, Purwakarta and Subang.


See also

28/12/2006 INDIA
Indian Christians suffer persecution on Christmas day
The worst episodes of anti-Christian violence occurred in Punjab and Chhatisgarh, where Hindu nationalist groups have threatened those who celebrate the birth of Christ.

21/11/2007 INDONESIA
Enraged Muslims attack domestic Church in West Java
The latest violence against the so-called “illegal churches” in Bandung. The owner of the house explains: it’s true we have no official permit, but the law does not forbid us to use “provisional” domestic-churches while we wait.

21/08/2013 EGYPT
Young Muslim: We can only rebuild Egypt together with Christians
Mohamed Elhariry, a young businessman in Cairo, reveals the on the ground reality of life in recent months in Egypt. The young man says the Muslim Brotherhood "have lied to everyone, they never wanted a democratic state. The real Egypt is multi-denominational".

01/12/2008 IRAQ
Msgr. Sako: encouraging the exodus of Christians damages Iraq
The European Union has announced a plan to welcome over 10 thousand Iraqi refugees, exiled in Syria and Jordan. The archbishop of Kirkuk is against a mass exodus of Christians from the land of their birth and denounces a political leadership that fails to promote unity. Leaving implies “betraying the meaning of the Christian message”.

07/05/2012 INDONESIA
Extremist threats in Aceh: authorities close three churches
Two Catholic and one Protestant place of worship. Among these, the Napagaluh Catholic prayer chapel, a "historic" building open for 38 years with no record of incidents or complaints. Local government claims they lack building permits. In reality closure due to protests of local Islamic fringe.

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