Saving Indonesia’s Churches from Islamic Radicals

Written by Testriono
New research may hold key to Indonesia’s church-building controversy

In Bogor, in Indonesia’s West Java province, the Presbyterian congregation GKI Yasmin has been prohibited by the local administration from holding services in their church for years.

Indonesia’s Supreme Court has ruled that revoking the church’s permit is illegal. However, GKI Yasmin and many churches like it have not been protected from a small but vocal minority in Indonesia that has tried to prevent churches from receiving building and worship permits – and in some cases has even organized mobs to attack churches and congregants.

The case of GKI Yasmin is troubling, but is not representative of the status of all churches across the country. Throughout Indonesia, there are churches that successfully receive permits to build and whose congregants worship peacefully in religiously diverse neighborhoods. Those working to resolve the problems in Bogor can look to the positive examples of interfaith relations in communities that have overcome religious tensions. …

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