Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

Bishop of West Java: dialogue on the church of Saint Mary’s. Or legal action


“Bishop Johannes Pujasumarta Pr, Bishop of Bandung, explains that a “constructive dialogue” can achieve a “good solution”. The prelate promises a battle and does not exclude the possibility of legal action. Among the reasons that have blocked the construction of the church are protests of “special groups” in the area.”

10/23/09 Indonesia (AsiaNews) “Dialogue with people of good will should be the basis for addressing any social issue, including the recent revocation of the permit to build the church of Saint Mary ” in Cikampek, Purwakarta Regency. This is the statement of Mgr. Johannes Pujasumarta Pr, bishop of Bandung in West Java province. The prelate adds that “all procedures were performed according to the law” and promises that “legal action will be taken”.

In recent days the authorities of the District of Purwakarta, West Java province, officially revoked the permit – issued two years earlier – to build the church of Saint Mary in the village of Cinangka, in the sub-district Bungur Sari. Jaenal Arifin, a local official, spoke of some “irregularities” discovered in the granting of the IMB, the Izin Mendirikan Bangunan, a type of document that allows the starting of construction and is issued by local authorities. Now – if the construction involves a place of Christian worship – the building has to receive the “clearance” of a number of residents of the area where the building is to be constructed and the local group for interfaith dialogue.

Bishop Johannes Pujasumarta Pr confirms that “all procedures were carried out according to the law,” but when the time came to begin building “something unexpected” happened. These include a series of protests by “special” groups in the area, who oppose the construction of a Catholic Church.

The bishop takes pains to make it clear however that, in addition to the problems, there are many positive aspects in the life of the Church in West Java. “When I visited Cikampek – he explains – what I saw was amazing. I was deeply touched and made me happy to see how deep-rooted and sincere the people’s faith in God is. Their enthusiasm in everyday life, I was stunned”.

The prelate said he had personally witnessed the “test of their faith.” ” Cikampek Catholics – he concludes – want to cultivate their belief in God, to see him blossom and bear fruit in the entire province of West Java.

Go to Full Story