3/19/2011 Indonesia (JakartaPost) – The Indonesian Communion of Churches (PGI) condemned the decision made by the Bogor municipal government to seal the Taman Yasmin Indonesian Christian Church (GKI), effectively barring its congregation from performing regular services.
“PGI is really concerned with the fact that government officials, who are supposed to uphold the law, choose to defy it,” PGI secretary Rev. Gomar Gultom told a press conference on Monday.
Gomar said the protracted legal battle on GKI Taman Yasmin would set a bad precedent for law enforcement in the country as both local and central government authorities had allowed the injustice to take place.
Members of the Taman Yasmin Indonesian Christian Church (GKI) were again banned from holding Sunday services as the Bogor City Administration continued to remain firm in their intent to seal the church.
The Bogor administration’s decision to seal the church contravenes a recent Supreme Court verdict that overturned the city’s request to uphold a lower court decision to shut the church down.
Attorneys for the congregation received the verdict on Jan. 13.
The legal battle between the administration and the church began after the city revoked the church’s building permit on Feb. 14, 2008 — two years after it had been legally issued.
The administration cited complaints from local residents about the church’s construction process. Others have said the church would become a hub for proselytizing Christianity in the Muslim-majority community.
The Bandung administrative court later overturned the administration’s decision that revoked the building permit, which was upheld by a Supreme Court verdict received on Jan. 13.
Indonesian Christian Church (GKI) head Rev. Albertus Pati said that the closure of GKI Taman Yasmin reflected the true condition of the country, where the law is broken on a daily basis.