Indonesian police moved to disperse a crowd of radical Muslims intent on stopping a church from being built. Several hundred protesters gathered demanding the construction permit be rejected. They tried to force their way into the building when police responded by firing tear gas. Some protesters threw rocks and bottles at the church. Indonesia technically protects the freedom of religious for six religions, including Christianity. In reality, however, religious minorities are not protected by the government and many, if not most, practice their faith underground. This event is a positive step in that police officers moved to protect the church from radical Muslims. There have been many cases in which police or government authorities have actually helped the radicals destroy Christian churches.
3/24/2017 Indonesia (The Washington Post) – Indonesian police fired tear gas on Friday to disperse hard-line Muslims protesting against the construction of a Catholic church in a satellite city of the capital, Jakarta.
Several hundred protesters from a group called Forum for Bekasi Muslim Friendship staged a rowdy demonstration in front of the Santa Clara church in Kaliabang, a neighborhood of Bekasi city, after Friday prayers.
Witnesses said police fired tear gas as the protesters tried to force their way into the church, which has been under construction since November. Some also threw rocks and bottles into the site.