Indonesian Churchgoers Wail as Jambi City Shuts Down Their Church

StoryfulNewsPublished: September 28, 2018
Published: September 28, 2018

Indonesian churchgoers were seen wailing as Jambi city officials sealed their house of worship on Thursday, September 27, reportedly following an objection from Muslim residents. Gereja Methodist Indonesia Kanaan, which had been open for about two decades, was among three churches that were shut down by the Jambi city government on Thursday. The other two were Gereja Sidang Jemaat Allah and Gereja Huria Kristen Indonesia Simpang Rimbo, local media reported. City officials said the local residents wanted the churches to close because they lacked proper permits. However, church elders said that prior to the closure, there was a threat of 1,000-strong demonstration if the government failed to take any steps against the churches. Methodist church leaders also said they had applied for a permit from the city administration for years but had never been granted one. According to Human Rights Watch, 1,000 or so churches have been shut in Indonesia in the past decade, following a 2006 regulation on “religious harmony”, which effectively gives the adherents of the “majority religion” the right to block construction of “minority religion” houses of worship. Credit: Choky Christianhalomoan Nainggolan via Storyful

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