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Two More Churches in West Java, Indonesia, Sealed Off

  • Religion Today
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2012 Aug 21
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Two more churches in Indonesia's West Java province have been forcibly closed amid opposition and disputes over paperwork, Barnabas Fund reports. A large tent used for services by St. Johannes Baptista Church in Bogor was sealed off by authorities on August 7. The congregation had been using the tent since 2006 as temporary location while awaiting a permit for a proper building, which it applied for in 2000. Dace Supriadi, head of the Bogor Public Order Agency, said the church was given a week to find an alternative place of worship, adding, "If they continue to use this tent, we will tear it down." Gatot Wotoseputro, leader of the church, said he was perplexed as to why authorities would now decide to seal off the tent, but suspected their action was linked to the growth of the congregation, which has reached around 500. Meanwhile, Batak Karo Protestant Church in Bandung was sealed off by protesters on July 29, who claimed the congregation had agreed not to use the building for worship in an agreement signed in 2011. The church, which was formed in 2007, signed the agreement but had since received all the required permits from authorities allowing it to hold services.