Bantul Government Revokes, Cancels Protestant Church’s Permit

07/29/2019 Indonesia (International Christian Concern) – Following protests from local residents, the regent of Bantul H. Suharsono officially revoked and canceled the building permit (IMB) of a Pentecostal Christian Church in Indonesia (GKPI) in Sedayu district, Bantul regency.

Suharsono signed Bantul Regental Decree No. 345/2019 last Friday to revoke the building permit (IMB) for the Immanuel Sedayu GPdI. As a result, its congregation is no longer allowed to perform worship services at the building.

Suharsono said that the cancellation of IMB was due to several conditions that were not fulfilled by the church. The regulation states that places of worship that receive permits ought to be established before 2006, used as places of worship permanently or continuously, have religious characteristics or symbols, and have historical value for the surrounding community.

He rules that the place of worship which was also the house of Rev. Tigor Yunus Sitorus, is not designed to be used for worship permanently, as confirmed by the Reverend.

According to Jakarta Post, human rights advocates criticized the Bantul administration for the move, saying the permit could constitute a case a “maladministration”.

“The administration seems to have created a made-up reason to stop the church operation,” National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) commissioner Beka Ulung Hapsara said, urging the authorities to annul the decision.

Regarding the cancellation of the IMB, the church plans to take the matter to the State Administrative Court (PTUN).

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