Persecution Fridays: Indonesia – Pastor Arrested

November 18, 2011 at 10:05 am | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment
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For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website: www.persecution.com

Indonesia: Pastor Arrested

After closing the Indonesia Pentecost Church (Gpdi) in Sumedang, Indonesia, for using an illegal building permit, authorities arrested the church’s pastor for forcing others to attend church. The church was built more than 24 years ago, and it has experienced threats only within the last few months.

“This church building is a permanent building, and it has been there for more than 24 years,” said Theophilus Belo, director of Jakarta Christian Communication Forum (FKKJ). “During that time, everything was going well. But on July this year, this congregation got a problem. Their church has been closed by local administration.”

On Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011, a local administrative group threatened to close the church. The church had previously received a letter urging them to stop Christian activities, and the district head of Jatinangor in Sumedang, Nandang Suparman, said the church building had no legal building permit.

“Until today we have not yet received their building permit documentation application,” Suparman said. “We have checked if they are already submitting it from a district administrative level. On May this year, if I’m not mistaken, we sent them a letter to urge them to start applying for their building permit. We are already giving them a chance to start applying, but they don’t do it.”

Suparman urged the church to move its services into a church building belonging to the Institute of Public Administration (IPND). “I’ll talk with the leaders of IPND that this congregation is permitted to use their institute’s church building,” he said.

The Indonesian Christian organization Kabar Gereja reports that the IPND cannot accommodate the congregations of any more closed churches. At least 14 churches have been relocated to the IPND’s church building.

Gpdi’s pastor was put on trial on Oct. 3 at Sumedang Government Court, and he faces up to three months in prison for forcing others to attend church. The church’s closure adds to the long list of churches that have been closed by Indonesian authorities. Other church leaders have also been arrested after their churches closed, according to Kabar Gereja. According to the FKKJ, at least 30 churches have been closed or burned in Indonesia in 2011.

Persecution Fridays – Indonesia – Officials Close Church

July 29, 2011 at 10:35 am | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment
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For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website: www.persecution.com

Indonesia: Officials Close Church

A church in Bogor that has been attacked six times since 2008 was recently ordered to stop all religious activities or risk inviting “the community and others to react in a way that could spark a potential disturbance.” But church members have refused to obey the local government’s demands.

The Taman Yasmin Indonesian Christian Church (GKI) in Bogor, West Java, near Jakarta, has had an ongoing dispute with Islamist groups and local authorities. In 2008, the city revoked the church’s building permit and sealed the church building. Since then, the congregation has conducted weekly services outside the church, prompting some neighbors to complain of a public disruption. Local community members, backed by Islamist groups, have held multiple protests against the church. And even though the Supreme Court ordered Bogor city authorities to re-open the building in December 2010, it has remained sealed. Local authorities say they are afraid opening the church would spark social unrest. Continue Reading Persecution Fridays – Indonesia – Officials Close Church…

Persecution Fridays: Algeria

January 8, 2011 at 2:14 am | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment
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For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website: www.persecution.com 

Algeria: Four Christians Sentenced

Four Christians were given suspended prison sentences recently for opening a place of worship without a license in the eastern region of Kabylia, Algeria, according to Asia News.

The Christians, a Protestant clergyman and three of his parishioners, were convicted under a controversial 2006 law. The law requires that anyone who wants to set up a place of worship, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, must obtain a permit indicating the name of the place of worship and the name of the pastor. Some believe this law violates Algeria’s constitution, and this is the first time the law has been enforced. Three of the men, Abdenour Raid, Nacer Mokrani and Idir Haoudj, received two-month prison sentences. The fourth, Pastor Mahmoud Yahou, was sentenced to three months in jail and fined almost $3,600 (U.S.) for illegally sheltering a foreigner.

Pray that God will encourage these believers, that the ministry of churches in Algeria will flourish and that the gospel will be preached throughout the nation.


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