No permit means persecution

Tuesday, January 22, 2019
 | 
Bill Bumpas (OneNewsNow.com)

cross broken shatteredAs the political climate heats up in Indonesia, Christians there are also feeling the heat of increased persecution.

International Christian Concern (ICC) cites an incident earlier this month in which a mob protested the convening of a house church. There were complaints that the church was operating illegally because it did not have a permit, but as ICC's Gina Goh explains, it is extremely difficult for non-Muslim places of worship to obtain permits to operate as a church.

"Sometimes you need to actually get approval from the neighborhood, and sometimes its requiring dozens of signatures from your Muslim neighborhoods," Goh tells OneNewsNow. "A lot of the Muslim neighbors, they actually have hostilities towards Christians, so of course if you ask them to sign, they are not going to sign."

Indonesia's constitution guarantees freedom of religion, and even some Muslims condemn protests against Christian churches because it disrupts the harmony of society. But with the presidential election coming up in April, Goh says many radical Muslim groups want to incite conflict and create a stir in hopes of toppling the current president, as they feel he is not radical enough in defending Muslim interests.

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