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05/20/2021 Indonesia (International Christian Concern) – On May 7, GKI (The Indonesian Christian Church) Executive Representative Bona Sigalingging urged the mayor of Bogor, Bima Arya, to allow Yasmin Church to once again meet in their church building. He stated that if Birma Arya continued to disobey the law and the Constitution by not implementing the Supreme Court’s review decision and refusing to carry out the mandatory recommendations of the Indonesian Ombudsman, the board would urge President Jokowi to take necessary and lawful actions immediately.

On April 10, 2010, Yasmin Church was ordered to close its doors when then mayor Diani Budiarto brought into question the validity of the church’s IMB (building permit). The mayor eventually revoked the church’s IMB in 2011. Budiarto claimed that he revoked the permit because of alleged forged signatures on the document. However, the decision came at the time of protests by Bogor residents who were angered by the church’s presence in their city.

The Supreme Court ruled in 2010 that the IMB of Yasmin Church was valid. However, the mayor still chose to unilaterally revoke the permit, forcing Yasmin Church to hold all worship services and events outside for the last ten years. When the current mayor, Bima Arya, was elected in 2019, Yasmin Church was hopeful that the situation would finally be resolved.

Unfortunately, Arya offered Yasmin Church a new plot of land instead of respecting the decision of the Supreme Court which had already established that Yasmin Church had a legitimate claim to their church building. Bona Sigalingging, who has been advocating for Yasmin Church throughout this situation, stated that by “allowing intolerant radical groups to intimidate the congregation repeatedly” the mayor has shown to be in support of this religious intolerance.

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