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Jakarta Post

Congregation finds it hard to worship and pray in peace

  • The Jakarta Post

Tangerang   /   Fri, August 14 2009   /  11:58 am

Praying is meant to be a simple act, but not in Indonesia, which proclaims itself the world’s biggest God-fearing democracy, and refuses to be called a secular nation.This means undergoing the mind-numbing bureaucracy inherent in processes like getting a driver’s license or renewing a passport.And even then, the freedom to worship is not guaranteed, as medieval-style pitchfork-wielding mobs give vent to the insecurity of their “majority religion”.In Pisangan Jaya, Tangerang, Banten, congregation leader Bedali Hulu has lived in anxiety for the past two months ago, as dozens of members of Islam organizations confront him each time his congregation holds a Sunday prayer.Even though the extremists have yet to turn violent, their actions have intimidated Bedali and the 40 members of his Jakarta Baptist Christian Church (GKBJ), leading them to pray under pressure.“How can we pray pro...