Churches Closed Down in West Java

20 September 2002

Police have ordered the closure of two churches in Cikarang Barat, West Java.  The buildings 
of the two churches were sealed by the authorities on Friday 6 September.  The reason given 
for the closures was that local people objected to the church buildings and activities of 
the Christians.

These latest closures follow the closure of four church buildings in nearby Cikarang Baru in 
July.  Additionally, two church buildings near Bandung, West Java, that were undergoing 
renovations and being extended, have been forced to close down, and a church building in the 
Malang district of East Java has also been closed by the local authorities there.

In each case local objections have been cited as the reason for closure.  However, 
Christians involved in these situations believe that extremist Islamic groups, who are 
opposed to Christian activities in these areas, are orchestrating the objections and 
complaints.  Local officials deny this and claim it is merely a matter of obtaining the 
necessary permit to use a building for religious activities.

“This step of prohibition (sic) churches has shown that in a democratic country – Indonesia, 
there is no freedom of religion.” Was the comment of one Christian affected by these 
closures.


PRAY

• Pray that the churches affected will soon be allowed to reopen.

• Pray that the Indonesian authorities will resist pressure from Islamic extremists to 
curtail Christian activities and close church buildings.


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