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INDONESIA: Muslim Hard-liners Prevent Church Holding Service

INDONESIA: Muslim Hard-liners Prevent Church Holding Service

Despite having the required government permit, a protestant church in Jakarta has not been able to hold services, thanks to Muslim hard-liners’ protests and threats.

They claim the church is located in a predominantly Muslim residential area in the Cengkareng district of West Jakarta – too close to a mosque and an Islamic boarding school. The church administrators, dispute the claim, saying there are no mosques or residential areas nearby. A local Muslim explained that the main objection is because a mosque will be built nearby.

Reverend Timotheus Halim, head of the Family of God Church, said he does not understand why objections were being raised as all legal requirements have been followed. “Our church got a permit from the West Jakarta mayor on 2 July this year, based on an agreement with local people.” On 5 July, he was summoned by community leaders who told him the church was banned because it was near a mosque, an Islamic boarding school, and houses owned by clerics.

Reverend Halim said he and 150 members of his congregation were planning to hold their first prayer meeting at the new church on 7 July. The meeting was cancelled, after they received threats from Muslim groups, including the notorious Islamic Defenders Front.

He said the same group had hounded them out of their last church building in West Jakarta, but “I will fight and not give up because we have a legal permit and have fulfilled all requirements from the government.”

Sources: International Christian Concern, UCA News

  • Ask the Lord to grant Reverend Halim and the congregation His favour in the situation. Pray that, regardless of the outcome, they will not stop meeting together, but will continue to encourage one another in the faith.
  • Pray this opposition may serve to grow them in Christlikeness.
  • Pray they will take every opportunity to witness to those who oppose them and the Gospel. Pray the witness may be used by the Lord to change hearts.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

BELARUS: Registration Refused for Church Activities

BELARUS: Registration Refused for Church Activities

Officials have rejected the registration application for the Pentecostal Your Will Be Done Church in Minsk for the sixth time, after a government official pressured a potential landlord to not rent their facility to the church. Due to fear of punishment, the congregation has chosen to not meet for worship without registration.

The Baptist Union has also faced registration problems while planning for an International Festival of Hope event which was initially scheduled to take place in Minsk on 4 and 5 May. Members of this denomination faced continued delays in obtaining permission. Ultimately, they had to cancel their plans when no answer was received by mid-February. Earlier plans to have Franklin Graham as one of the featured guest speakers were cancelled when permission for him to speak had been denied. The Baptist Union intends to continue with plans for the festival at a later date, provided permission can be obtained.

In response to systemic refusal to register religious organisations, the United Nations Human Rights Committee released a statement in October 2018, expressing concerns and calling on Belarus to repeal the requirement for mandatory state registration of religious communities.

Source: Forum 18

  • Pray for the many churches in Belarus that are facing undue delays and registration denials.
  • Pray they will not be disheartened but will continue to encourage one another in the faith. Ask God to give them new opportunities to meet for worship.
  • Pray the Lord will make a way for needed ministry to take place among the country’s Christian community, as well as those who are spiritually searching for truth.

Post your prayer for Belarus in the comments below.