ICC Note: Why do the Muslims have a right to worship who they want when they want, but Christians don’t? Fortunately, Christians don’t need buildings to worship God.
Muslim Radicals Govt Officials Trouble Indonesian Christians
8/17/2006 Indonesia (AgapePress) – A Baptist church in one Indonesian village is the target of Muslim terrorists who want to eradicate all Christian churches from the area. In recent years, three prominent churches in Bandung , the provincial capital of West Java, Indonesia, have closed due to pressure from local Muslim leaders.
Last month a group of Muslims disrupted a service at the Batu Zaman Baptist Church , demanding that the Christian church shut its doors. Dr. Carl Moeller, president of Open Doors USA, says pressure is mounting on evangelical churches like this one throughout Indonesia .
Also, the ministry leader points out, many Christians have been tortured by Muslim extremists, and Indonesia continues to be a place where churches are burned and the local communities of Christians are threatened by dominant Muslim populations. And in addition to the physical threat of terrorist violence, he notes, church members must sometimes face various levels of persecution, discrimination, and harassment from Muslim authorities.
Moeller says officials with Batu Zaman Baptist Church have been working with government officials in an effort to remain open. “This church has been denied a worship permit,” he explains. “The situation for Christians in Indonesia is that they have to register for these types of permits. As far as the church itself is concerned, they’re asking for prayer that this building permit be approved.”
The Open Doors spokesman says the church is navigating the official channels and getting a fairly good response. “But this is a very difficult situation,” he acknowledges, “because the government is very resistant. This is one of the only worship places in that region.” Indonesia ranks 35th on the 2006 World Watch List of countries that have religious persecution.