West Java, the highest populated area of Indonesia, is becoming a “hotbed of intolerance” according to UCA News. Local churches have been forced by Muslims to stop meeting in their houses to worship, a venue already considered a “last resort” since their applications for building licenses are denied. Churches that have been lucky enough to get a license have not fared much better. Some churches with licenses have still been closed by the local government under the pressure of Muslims. House church members have had no choice but to defy the local government and continue to meet. One pastor told UCA News “Anytime we can be raided.”
5/18/2017 Indonesia (UCA News) – In West Java, a province known for its failure to maintain religious freedom, worship is not easy for many Christians.
Catholics and Protestants of three churches in Parungpanjang, Bogor district certainly felt that way in March.
Following pressure by local Muslims, the district head told them to stop using houses they usually used for worship.
The reason was the houses — one owned by Catholics and two by Protestants — did not have official permission to be used as houses of worship.
However, they have defied the order despite fears of a crackdown.
“Anytime, we can be raided,” the Rev. Abdi Saragih, head of the Parungpanjang Methodist Church, told ucanews.com.