Church in Indonesia Reports Christmas Eve Service Attack
ICC Note: This report by the Jakarta Globe details a second attack against the HKBP Church in Bekasi, Indonesia which occurred on Christmas Eve. This attack was worse than the one which followed the next day, and included excrement and bags of urine hurled at the Christians as they tried to hold service.
12/28/2012 Indonesia (The Jakarta Globe) – Members of the Filadelfia Batak Christian Protestant Church were intimidated by a mob on Christmas Eve near the church’s confiscated land in Bekasi, representatives of the church said. The representatives reported the incident to the National Commission on Human Rights.
The intimidation occurred while the congregation was conducting a Christmas procession prior to holding a Christmas Eve service, the HKBP Filadelfia representatives told Natalius Pigai, head of the monitoring and investigative division for the commission, which is known as Komnas HAM.
Parsaoran, one of the church representatives, said that a mob pelted the congregation with eggs and other items and tried to hinder the procession from heading to the front of the church’s property, which has been sealed off by the local authorities.
Natalius said that he believed the root of the problem lay in the complex and dragged-out process of government permit issuance for churches and added that this was causing conflicts in communities.
He said that the government’s inconsistency in protecting religious freedom was giving rise to intolerant groups that “are much more dangerous than atheist groups.”