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3/16/11 Indonesia (JakartaPost) – Authorities in Bogor barred members of the GKI Yasmin congregation from entering their own church on Sunday in their latest brazen violation of a Supreme Court order. The church on Jalan KH Abdullah bin Nuh was padlocked on Saturday night and barricaded on Sunday morning by police, mobile brigade (Brimob) and public order (Satpol PP) officers. Bona Sigalingging, a spokesman for the congregation, said the officials had informed them the Bogor administration had decided on March 4 to revoke the building permit for the church, flouting a Supreme Court ruling. “They then ordered us to leave, but we remained there on the sidewalk,” he said, adding that the congregation was then forcibly dispersed by fully armed Brimob officers. Muslim residents have accused the GKI of violating a 2006 joint ministerial decree on houses of worship, claiming they had forged some of the required 60 signatures of support from residents before building the church, prompting the Bogor administration to seal it off and rescind its building permit. However, the Supreme Court ruled in January against the revocation of the permit and ordered the church reopened. The administration has refused to comply, citing a ruling days later by the Bogor District Court that the church had falsified residents’ signatures in order to get the building permit. On Sunday, city secretary Bambang Gunawan said Mayor Diani Budiarto would issue a formal announcement today on the revocation of the permit in light of the lower court’s decision. “We’ve abided by the Supreme Court’s decision, but because there was criminal conduct in falsifying signatures to get the building permit, the mayor will issue a statement on why the permit had to be revoked,” he said. “We ask everyone to respect the legal process.” He added that the mayor’s decision on the building permit would be the final word on the issue, the Supreme Court ruling notwithstanding. For the past decade, the congregation had to face down protests from hard-line Muslims and officials in order to build its church there. It was forced to hold its services on the sidewalk in front of the half-constructed building for much of last year after the Bogor administration first revoked its building permit in March 2010.


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