Indonesia: “Islamic Defender Front” threatens to tear down church as officials withhold worship permit
Islamic Tolerance Alert. Where are all the moderates in Modern, Moderate Indonesia, not only to condemn verbally, but demand meaningful action to stop the official corruption and jihadist mobs at the center of this story? And for that matter, where is the condemnation from Islamic groups in the West? “Indonesia: Islamists threaten to tear down church,” from Compass Direct:

JAKARTA, May 6 (Compass Direct News) – Muslim extremists and local government authorities last week threatened to tear down a church building under construction in North Sumatra even though church leaders met requirements of Indonesia’s draconian law on worship places, the church’s pastor said.
Emboldened by local authorities’ unwillingness to grant a church building permit to Protestant Bataks Christian Church (Huria Kristen Batak Protestan, or HKBP), some 100 Muslim extremists accompanied by government officials on April 29 tried to destroy the building under construction in Jati Makmur village, North Binjai, 22 kilometers (14 miles) from the provincial capital of Medan.
The Rev. Monang Silaban, HKBP pastor, said about 100 members of the Islamic extremist Front Pembela Islam (Islamic Defender Front, or FPI), some armed with “sharp weapons,” arrived at 4:30 p.m. accompanied by Binjai municipal officials, who brought a bulldozer. Church members quickly gathered to defend the building, with women anxiously crying, “Please God protect us.”
The groups nearly came to blows in the rain as some Islamic extremists made their way into the structure, which was about 40 percent completed. Brigadir Mobil (Brimob) security forces and Binjai reserve police arrived and were able to bring calm, with the mob eventually calling off the assault.
Binjai officials have been unwilling to grant HKBP a permit even though it has complied with recent government regulations requiring it to provide information on 90 adult members and the written consent of 60 neighbors. Rev. Silaban said the church had provided the required information on 90 church members and collected 69 signatures of area residents giving their consent for the church building.
A Joint Ministerial Decree issued in 1969 and revised in 2006 requires an official permit for any place of worship – whether Muslim, Christian or otherwise – operating throughout Indonesia. The requirements of the revised decree – 90 adult members and 60 neighbors’ written consent – leave many small Christian churches easy targets for Islamic radicals and hostile local governments, but the Jati Makmur’s HKBP is one of the few Indonesian churches actually able to comply with it.
Police met with church and Muslim extremist group leaders following the confrontation and reached an agreement that construction on the building would cease until the permit is approved – something that hasn’t happened in the two years since HKBP applied.
At the meeting, held at the mayor’s office in Binjai, G.T. Siregar, a member of the church construction committee, complained that officials have obstructed efforts to obtain permission to construct the church building.
“We’re tired of trying to obtain the permit, because it always fails,” he said. “The local government actually has to grant us the permit, because we have done as the revised decree has asked.”
Police met with church and Muslim extremist group leaders following the confrontation and reached an agreement that construction on the building would cease until the permit is approved – something that hasn’t happened in the two years since HKBP applied.

Isn’t that nice — they called a truce (i.e. they ceased construction on their church building). You see, it all worked out for the best — a win/win situation!

Does anyone not see that the Muslim Mob is part of the Muslim Mafia? The Muslim Mafia uses the Muslim Mob as a tool, kind of like a paramilitary army, to enforce their will on people with whom they disagree.

Looks like they were successful in this instance — they not only succeeded in stopping construction of the church building, but they ended up looking like diplomats and peace makers!

Posted by: PersonOfTheBook at May 7, 2008 2:20 AM

The problem is the Indonesian government doesn’t see any problem with terrorist groups like FPI doing this to churches, Ahmadiyah buildings, nightclub businesses in Jakarta and Yogyakarta. These groups never get punished. Why is that? Why are these groups allowed to terrorize Indonesian citizens without going to jail. Soeharto would have exterminated them. Why do you JI religious leader Abu Bakr Ba’asyir ran away to Malaysia and didn’t come back until after Soeharto was no longer president. He was on Soeharto’s hit list. As much as I hated Soeharto and what his legacy of corruption, bankruptcy, shitty infrastructure, transmigration policy resulting in religious conflicts and death of millions left, he would have never put up with these Islamic terrorist groups in Indonesia.


I should also mention that this story has had no media coverage here in Indonesia at all and I was just able to confirm the story with the pastor from the HKBP church in the city I live in. I have many Batak friends that attend the church here. The pastor said he didn’t know that any news of what happened had reached outside of Indonesia and was very surprised but happy that the world was hearing about this persecution.


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