From Creeping Sharia:
Posted on February 5, 2012 by creeping
Indonesian Christians held a prayer vigil in Jakarta on Sunday urging President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to re-open their church and stop intimidation by Muslim hardliners.
About 200 people, mostly members of the Taman Yasmin Indonesian Christian Church, prayed and sang hymns outside the state palace.
“We hope the president will protect us from harassment by radical groups and re-open the church which is legally ours so we can conduct worship,” the group’s spokeswoman Dwiati Novita Rini told AFP.
The Christians have been forced to hold services on the pavement outside their church in Bogor city, south of Jakarta, after its permit was revoked in 2008, Rini said.
“But the Supreme Court overturned the decision in December 2010 and ordered for the church to be re-opened. The Bogor city administration however refused to comply,” she added.
The congregation has since moved their weekly service to a house near a church but faced intimidation and verbal abuse from Muslim hardliners, Rini said.
“A few dozen would harass us every weekend. But last Sunday, hundreds intimidated us with sticks and rocks and shouted at us to leave,” she added.
Although the constitution explicitly guarantees freedom of religion and the country of some 240 million people, laws make it difficult for faiths other than Islam to establish houses of worship.
Rights groups say religious intolerance is on the rise in Indonesia, which has the world’s biggest Muslim majority, citing the persecution of the minority Muslim Ahmadiyah sect and the torching of churches.
Amnesty International last Wednesday called on the government to guarantee the safety of the congregation and conduct “prompt, independent and impartial” investigations into reports of intimidation.
It also urged the government to ensure the Bogor city authorities immediately comply with the court’s ruling to re-open the church.
Related video from 2010:
And to get a feel for what life will be like when Muslims become a majority, watch this: