Sidewalk Church Protest Remains Civil Despite Odds

A protest in Bogor that had been expected to turn violent remained civil on Sunday as a group of people in the mostly Muslim community voiced opposition to the Yasmin church congregation holding services on a sidewalk outside of its sealed-off church.

Global rights group Amnesty International earlier reported that the congregation had received threats from the local community that if the services did not stop by Sunday, “anarchy” would erupt.

“In the last couple of weeks, the religious hard-line groups haven’t showed up to protest against us using the sidewalks to hold a Sunday service,” church spokesman Bona Sigalingging said. “However, there was a group of people present, even the head of my community.”

The group did not threaten them, he said.

“This group did not come up with intimidating banners or shouting sectarian words,” he said. “They even sang some national songs as they asked us to move somewhere else because sidewalks were not a place for worship.”
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Categories: Indonesia

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