ICC NOTE: The GKI Yasmin church in Bogor, Indonesia will be conducting their 6th Christmas service outside the presidential palace in the capitol of Jakarta. the GKI Yasmin church has been without a church building for nearly 6 years after local authorities were pressured by radical Muslims to close their building. Since then the church has conducted Sunday services outside the presidential palace in defiance of government crackdown. To make matter worse, the Indonesian Supreme Court ruled in favor of the church stating local authorities do not have the legal authority to bar the congregation from worshiping their building. Unfortunately the President and his administration has been silent over the ruling and as a result local officials in Bogor have maintained the locks on the buildings doors.
12/8/2015 Indonesia (Christian Today) – A church in Indonesia is set to hold its sixth Christmas service outside the State Palace in Jakarta since the government closed its building in 2010.
The Indonesian Christian Church (GKI) Yasmin in Bogor, West Java, will hold an interfaith celebration, and will be joined by human rights organisations, a spokesman told the Jakarta Post.
“We want to knock on the doors of other churches so they will self-reflect and realise that they should not surrender just because they are a minority,” Bona Sigalingging said.
The church is just one of many to have been closed down as part of a wider crackdown on minority faiths in Indonesia.
A law was implemented nine years ago, supposedly with the aim of promoting religious harmony. However, in practice it requires non-Muslims to obtain 60 signatures from people of a different faith as well as permission from the local authority before they can build a place of worship.
If a church is deemed to have illegitimate building permits, it can be torn down. GKI Yasmin has been embroiled in controversy over its permits since 2008.
The situation for Christians is worse in Aceh province in the north of the country, however.
Around 1,000 churches have been closed in Aceh alone since 2006, and Sharia law is implemented. Imams have reportedly ordered the torching of churches, and Christians have been targeted by mob violence.