01/27/2022 Indonesia (International Christian Concern) – The Lampung Police have named and detained eight new suspects for the criminal case of incitement and hate speech at the Indonesian Pentecostal Church (GPI) in Banjar Agung Village, Tulang Bawang Regency, Lampung.
A group of residents, led by Imron, could be seen preventing members of the GPI Tulang Bawang Church from holding Christmas service in a video that went viral. They interrupted the worship and demanded the church to turn off worship music.
Head of Subdit 1 Kamneg Polda Lampung, AKBP Dodon Pryambodo said the eight new suspects were residents of Tulang Bawang, and the number of suspects was in accordance with the video circulating online. After a more in-depth investigation, the police were able to identify the role of each suspect in stopping the church’s Christmas worship.
AKBP Dodon explained the roles of the suspects. Suspect Abdul Majid asked the church for its building permit (IMB); Samsul Muarif and Patoni yelled and asked the church to turn off the music.
“For suspect, Erik Hardiansyah played the role of a seeker for community support by collecting signatures from residents to ask for the closure of the church. In carrying out his duties, Erik Hardiansyah was promised a Rp. 50,000 reward by suspect Imron,” he said.
Suspect Tedi Riswanto helped install a wooden barrier at the door of the church. Lastly, suspect Askari threatened a congregant’s brother during the process of sealing the church door, and suspect JS played a role in asking the church if they had permission to worship.
As a result of their actions, eight suspects will be charged with several criminal laws with a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
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