Friday, July 8, 2011

Amnesty Points To Persecution In Jakarta

Amnesty Urges For Protection Of Bogor Church Group
By Mariel Grazella, The Jakarta Post

International human rights group Amnesty International has once again drawn the plight of the Taman Yasmin Indonesian Christian Church (GKI) into the spotlight, following fresh threats against the congregation.

“The congregation of the GKI in Bogor, West Java, is at risk of attacks, harassment and intimidation at their weekly Sunday service on July 10, after receiving threats from members of the local community," Amnesty International told The Jakarta Post in a written statement.

The congregation has been facing ongoing opposition from the local administration and community for several years.

The administration revoked the church's building permit and sealed off the building in 2008, following protests from hardline groups. While the Supreme Court ordered authorities to re-open the church in 2010, it has remained closed.

The church has been attacked at least six times since 2008, Amnesty noted.
According to Amnesty, the congregation had received a copy of a letter from certain residents on July 2 calling on the local government and police to halt all religious activities and services by the congregation.

“The letter, dated June 28, warns that the ongoing situation ‘invites the community and others to react in a way that could spark a potential disturbance’, and demands that all of the church’s activities stop by July 3,” the statement reads.

The church faced public protests when they ignored earlier demands and a community leader warned of “anarchy” if the congregation continued to hold services, which they hold on the pavement next to their church building.

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