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Indonesia: Christian Congregation Accepts Government Deal

By Joseph C. DeCaro

7/10/10 Indonesia (Worthy News)-- A West Java church agreed to temporarily move following an Islamist attack on two of its leaders.

The Batak Christian Protestant Church, Ciketing Village, Bekasi, accepted a government offer to move its worship services to the former Organization and Political Party building on the condition that local officials will keep their promise to build a new church for them in the Mustika Sari district within two years.

The Rev. Luspida Simanjuntak said her church was more than ready to accept the government-brokered deal to temporailly relocate.

"We are tired of being intimidated and terrorized," she said. "We will be able to worship quietly and peacefully."

Church lawyer Saor Siagian said the church accepted the temporary move with the understanding that the Bekasi municipal government will build a new church building to replace the one the church is leaving in the Mustika Sari area of Bekasi.

Bekasi city official Zaki Oetomo told Compass News that the former OPP building could be used rent-free for two years with an extension if the church so desired; the government also offered to weekly bus the congregation to and from the new site.

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