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ICC Note: It appears that local officials in the Indonesian city of Bekasi, on the outskirts of the nations capital, have begun demolishing Christian churches that lack a building permit. One of the churches now threatened with demolition, HKBP Filadelfia, has spent more than a year protesting the sealing of the church by local officials who have caved to pressure from Islamic radical groups to push the congregation out of the area. We do not yet know if the HKBP Filadelfia church has been demolished, but at least one other church in the area was bulldozed on Thursday. The sealing of the churches, as well as the nearly impossible to acquire building permits required by a 2006 law, fly in the face of Indonesia’s claim to be a “tolerant” democracy that welcomes all faiths. 
03/21/2013 Indonesia (AsiaNews) – About a hundred of protesters from the Huria Kristen Batak Protestant (HKBP) Filadelfia Church in Bekasi (West Java) took to the streets in suburban Jakarta in a final attempt to save their church, which they have been using for the past 13 years. Not far from their place of worship, some 200 Muslims are staging a counter protest, chanting and shouting slogans against them like “Demolish the church right away” and “They are infidels and they build churches without permits”.
The building in question has been closed, official seals placed on its doors by local authorities claiming (along with Muslim groups) that it was built without the proper permits. Demolition, city officials said, was a matter of a few hours. Meanwhile, the pastor that runs the church has been charged of “defamation”. In the past, he was the target of death threats.
Increasingly and despite the fact that religious freedom is protected under the constitution, the Christian minority in the world’s most populous Muslim nation is the victim of abuse and discrimination.
In their attempt to save their church, demonstrators invoked Jesus. “All we are doing is pray; we are not breaking any law,” they stressed. However, pleas and appeals appear to be getting them nowhere. The demolition of Bekasi’s Filadelfia Church appears more and more likely after years of battle before the courts between the community and local authorities.

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