Indonesian church denied site as new bill threatens freedoms

‘Religious Tolerance Bill’ would only entrench discrimination, critics say.

By: Sarah Page

Compass Direct News

Members of a church in Bogor, West Java, are determined to continue meeting outside their sealed building each Sunday until they are granted freedom to worship inside it, despite a ban on street meetings issued by the local mayor.

“The church will never give up meeting together,” a local source who preferred to remain unnamed said of the Indonesian Christian Church (Gereja Kristen Indonesia, or GKI), in the Yasmin area of Bogor.

The ban on street meetings forced church members to worship at an alternative location on Sunday (Oct. 23).

Amid the stand-off, religious freedom for groups such as the Yasmin church would be dramatically reduced under a “Religious Tolerance Bill” under consideration by the Ministry of Religious Affairs, critics of the proposal say. A constitutional debate is raging in Indonesia over the bill.

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Categories: Indonesia

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