Indonesia – ICC’s staff member in Indonesia reported that the congregation of the Kemah Daud Christian Church in Bandar Lampung was disbanded during their worship service by local authorities and residents on Sunday, February 19.
The forced closure of the church last Sunday was contrary to Indonesian President Jokowi’s recent appeal and undermined the Indonesian Constitution, which guarantees freedom of worship and religion for all.
Following the incident, the Bandar Lampung City Government did move to resolve the issue. In response to pushback from church leaders, authorities granted the church a worship permit for the next two years while building permit the church has submitted is being processed in the local government.
The Bandar Lampung Police Chief Kombes Ino Harianto further ensured that the Bandar Lampung Police would guarantee security during the worship service.
He said in a statement, “Later on, both the village chief and the sub-district head will hold meetings with the church and the head of the neighborhood. We will also guarantee security for all people in Bandar Lampung City in the freedom to carry out their worship.”
Indonesia’s Minister of Religion, Yaqut Cholil Qoumas, expressed his regrets regarding the disbanding of the church congregation in Lampung during the worship service.
“All parties are responsible for creating harmony. Therefore, if there are problems, they should be resolved by deliberation by involving the parties responsible for maintaining harmony. Therefore, there is no need for dissolution or banning,” said Yaqut.
(C) International Christian Concern