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04/05/2023 Indonesia (International Christian Concern) – The Purwakarta Regency Government, West Java, closed the Purwakarta Simalungun Protestant Christian Church (GKPS) building in Cigelam Village because it did not have a building permit. 

The Regent of Purwakarta, Anne Ratna Mustika, decided to close the church building because it did not have a permit and to avoid conflict in the majority-Muslim community. The Regent then suggested that the GKPS congregation worship in a different building. The building she suggested was far away from the original location of the church and too difficult for many of the congregants to travel to.  

Chairman of the Simalungun Protestant Christian Church (GKPS) Council in Purwakarta, Krisdian Saragih, has asked the local government to let the congregation carry out the Easter service at their original church building. So far, they have received no response from the local government.  

Unfortunately, even though the Indonesian Constitution technically guarantees legal protections for minority religions such as Christianity, local governments frequently make it difficult for churches to obtain building permits and church closures are a common occurrence.   

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