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Jakarta Post

Regent orders churches closed, destroyed in Aceh

Jakarta   /   Wed, June 13 2012   /  07:54 am

In search of justice: Rev. Erde Berutu (right) of the Protestant Churches in Aceh Singkil, Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam areas and Aceh Singkil Christians’ Communication Forum chairman Tigor Padang (left) talk during a dialog at The Jakarta Post office in Jakarta on Tuesday. The dialog discussed churches in Aceh Singkil regency in the westernmost province which face the threat of demolition by the local administration. (JP/Nurhayati)The discovery that a regent in Aceh ordered 20 places of worship closed in April is raising concerns that growing intolerance will trigger communal conflicts.

The closures were ordered by Aceh Singkil Acting Regent Razali AR in a letter signed on April 30 that also ordered members of the congregations to tear down the churches by themselves.

“The local administration says that if the church members refuse to comply, the administration itself will...