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05/02/2012 Indonesia (The Jakarta Globe) – Bogor’s embattled GKI Yasmin church can reopen, as long as a mosque is built next door, Bogor mayor Diani Budiarto said in a letter to the Presidential Advisory Board (Wantimpres) on Wednesday.

Bogor’s administration sealed the church in April of 2010, forcing the beleaguered 300-member congregation to hold mass in front of the church or, at times, in private. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the church in 2010, but Diani ignored the ruling, leaving the congregation without a house of worship.

Now, as long as a mosque is built next door, the church may reopen.

Diani said that he coined the idea adding that he floated the idea to GKI Yasmin’s congregation in September 2011. The church decline the offer, the mayor said.

But Bona Sigalingging, spokesman for the GKI Yasmin church, said that exchange never happened.

GKI Yasmin officials still welcomed the idea.

“Let’s think positively that the mayor might try to communicate his idea to build a mosque near by GKI Yasmin, like the Cathedral and Istiqlal mosque [which sit side by side in Jakarta],” Bona said. “But for GKI Yasmin, this [will hopefully] solve the case.”

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