Indonesia: A group of Muslim protestors oppose building of a church

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Indonesian protestors

A group of Muslims strongly protest building of a church in Indonesian city.

According to details, more than a thousand Muslim protestors staged a rally against the building of a Church in North Bekasi, near Jakarta. The protestors urged local authorities to invalidate the building permit for the church.

The protesters claimed that the Christian leaders had obtained building permit through inappropriate means. “We want the mayor to revoke the building permit … as it is invalid,” said a protester who is a leader with the Islamic Friendship Association of Bekasi.

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Besides, the local authorities granted the church building permit in July, earlier this year. Nonetheless, Christians are struggling with extremely restrictive laws that make it hard for them to obtain apt permits.

In 2006, the religious affairs and home affairs ministries issued legislation that laid out onerous requirements to build places of worship. Church officials, for example, are obligated to provide a list of names and signatures of 90 worshippers and get signed support from at least 60 local residents along with approval by a village head.

Furthermore, the protestors also claimed that “They manipulated the data and forced local residents to sign on a paper with no letterhead. It was proved when we asked the local residents and found out that they weren’t aware of it.”

On the other hand, Rasnius Pasaribu, a representative of the church claimed that the church had met all necessary requirements. “We have gone through all procedures. All administrative processes are done. But they urged local authorities to revoke the building permit,” he said.