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08/02/2023 Indonesia (International Christian Concern) – After finally finishing construction on their church building, the congregation of the Indonesian Pentecostal Church in Sungai Bahar, Muaro Jambi, suddenly faced a new problem. The road to their church building was unexpectedly closed off by a wall, making access to their new building nearly impossible.  

Pastor Ruyanto Situmorang posted about the blocked road on his social media account on July 24, garnering significant media attention for the alleged religious freedom violation. 

This has made it very difficult for church members to reach the church building since the alternative roads are impassable due to large holes and other obstructions. 

Previously, the church congregation worshipped in a rented shop and did not have their own building. They longed for their own building and raised funds to buy a piece of land to build a church. After the funds were collected, the congregation slowly began construction.  

Pastor Situmorang shared that he received all the correct permits during the construction of the church and that there should have been no problems with the location of the church building. That’s why he was shocked and saddened when he found out that the access road to the church was blocked by a wall put up by the surrounding landowners.  

He brought the case to the Regional Representatives Council of Jambi Province. The head of the council, Edi Purwanto, asked the local government to help the congregation resolve the problem of the blocked access road. 

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