Churchgoers hold mass in Jakarta

February 13, 2012
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JAKARTA, Indonesia -- Members of the embattled GKI Yasmin church celebrated Mass outside the state palace in Jakarta on Sunday (February 12th), again calling on the central government to push the local Bogor administration to allow them to worship in their church, Tempo reported.

GKI Yasmin's Rev. Ujang Tanusaputra led the mass, attended by 50 people, to remind the government of its responsibility to uphold religious freedom rights.

In response, Home Minister Gamawan Fauzi said he had tried to convince local hardline Islamic groups to allow the church to be used, including by reminding them that there had been a Supreme Court ruling in 2010 justifying the church's presence, reported The Jakarta Post.

The Bogor administration banned the congregation from using its church two years ago, citing false signatures on permit papers.

Since then, the church's members have been barred from worshipping on the sidewalk outside the church and more recently, from gathering at private homes for prayer.

The case is one of several cited by activists as a sign that religious fundamentalism is spreading increased intolerance in Indonesia, according to the Jakarta Globe.


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