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08/11/2019 Indonesia (International Christian Concern) – The construction project of an Indonesian Baptist Church in the Tlogosari Wetan area, Semarang, Central Java, was stopped by local residents. They argued that the Building Permit (IMB) owned by the church had expired, and subsequently sealed the project site where the church was built.

On August 1, a group of Tlogosari residents allegedly came to the Indonesian Baptist Church to stop the construction of the church building and padlocked the church fence. The video of them sealing the church went viral and was circulated widely on social media.

On August 5, a mediation process took place between the church and residents, accompanied by Sub-District institutions, police officers, and some other religious groups.

During the mediation, the residents insisted that there should be no church in their neighborhood, adding that when the IMB was issued in 1998, some residents did not get to sign the church construction agreement. At that time, 12 local residents signed such agreement.

However, Indonesian Baptist Church Administrator Rev. Wahyudi of the church stressed that the process had been carried out according to state procedures and administration as evidenced in the issuance of the IMB.

“The construction of the church was officially approved and legal. There is a decision of the mayor, granting the building permit to this church,” Rev. Wahyudi told local news.

Since there was no consensus reached after the mediation, the plan is hold another one with the involvement of the mayor of Semarang, Semarang District Police, the Semarang District Military Command and FKUB, and several religious organization groups.

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected].