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Bekasi: Islamic groups against the Protestant church, it promotes proselytizing

ICC Note: Extremist Muslim movements have ordered an end “forced conversions,” and activities of the protestant church.

by Mathias Hariyadi
2/18/10 Indonesia (AsiaNews) – Islamic extremist groups in the district of Bekasi, about 25 km east of Jakarta, have launched an ultimatum to the faithful of Galilee Church : end religious activities because they “incite disharmony” between Muslims and promote proselytizing . Indonesian Protestant Church leaders respond that the charitable initiatives do not hide ulterior motives and true conversions “must come from the heart.” Meanwhile, the faithful of the Catholic church of Saint Mary have won the legal battle against the authorities of Purwakarta, the place of worship has obtained the building permit, revoked recently by the local government.

Galilee Church is located in the Taman Galaxy, in the sub-district of Jaka Setia, South Bekasi. On 15 February last at least 16 fundamentalist movements in the area ordered the faithful to stop the practice of worship and charitable initiatives. According to the hard-line Islamic front, they foment “discord” between Muslims and “hide their aim to proselytise”. Murhali Barda, a local leader of the Islamic Defender Front (FPI), adds that the Protestant community is not in possession of the necessary documents – the building permit (IMB) – to develop a place of worship.

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