By Emily Watt | 19 February 2020
Indonesia | Two Churches Forced To Close
Indonesian authorities have forced two churches to close in just one month. Both closures came following threats by Islamic extremist groups who oppose the church in Indonesia.
The Indonesian Constitution guarantees freedom of religion. But in reality, the Muslim majority are often favoured. This can make life difficult for Christians, and intolerance is increasing.
Many churches are unable to receive building permits, or lose them, despite meeting all the requirements.
Authorities closed a Protestant church in West Jakarta following protests by extremists. The group demanded that the mayor revoke the church's permit, with some reports suggesting they threatened the authorities. It was the second time this church has closed its doors following pressure from the Muslim population.
Thomas Muller, an Open Doors research analyst, said, “Reports on the changing attitudes of Indonesian citizens are pointing to the fact that ‘religious harmony’ is valued higher than religious freedom.
“Although religious harmony might seem appealing, it is dangerous if it means that the majority religion has the right to not be disturbed by minority religions.”
Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country. It is ranked 30 on the 2019 World Watch List of the 50 most dangerous countries to follow Jesus.
Pray For Indonesia:
Pray that the congregations of closed churches will continue to meet in Jesus’ name and proclaim His goodness.
Pray the church continues to share Jesus, even with those who persecute them.
Pray for true religious freedom to be present in Indonesia.
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