Indonesian Mayor Refuses to Reinstate Church License
December 26, 2011
The refusal of the mayor of Bogor, Indonesia, to obey a Supreme Court order to restore a church's permit casts doubt on the ability of the Indonesian government to enforce the rule of law, according to Compass Direct News. Muslim demonstrators and area police have continually obstructed the services of the Indonesian Christian Church congregation in Bogor, which has been holding services on roadsides or in members' homes since the local government sealed its building last year. Despite a Dec. 2010 Supreme Court ruling in favor of the congregation and a July 2011 recommendation by the National Ombudsman Institute to reinstate the church's license, Bogor mayor Diani Budiarto still refuses, and local police are even reporting that the church building is going to be torn down. Civil rights groups say Budiarto's approach sets a precedent that court decisions can be ignored, and plan to file suit against Bogor over his defiance.