Local Indonesian Officials Deny Christians the Right to Build Churches

The photo shows a Christian church in Indonesia. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Local officials have denied Indonesian Christians the right to build churches, even though the Christians own the land. This took place in a small city near the capital, Jakarta. Around 10,000 Christians live in this city.

Bruce Allen with FMI says, “Christian leaders around the country have said this goes against the spirit of religious moderation that Indonesia has been known for. And it denies the constitutional right of 10,000 Christians living in the city.”

State vs local governments

The government of Indonesia has weighed in on this controversy. Allen says, “The Minister of Religion has even said the Christians have a constitutional right to have their own building on their property. But the city is refusing to back down.”

The Indonesian government has taken great pains to establish unity throughout its 6,000 inhabited islands. But local governments often have more practical power. Allen says, “It’s really incumbent on the Christian population to have very good relationships with the people in their neighborhoods and communities, who are not Christians.”

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Kevin Zeller

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