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Jakarta Post

Beleaguered churches fear intimidation on Christmas

  • Novia D. Rulistia and Slamet Susanto

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta/Yogyakarta   /   Mon, December 24 2012   /  10:23 am

The members of two besieged Christian congregations on Jakarta’s outskirts are worried that hard-line groups will not let them observe Christmas in their own churches.

Rev. Palti Panjaitan of the Filadelfia Batak Christian Protestant Church (HKBP) in Bekasi, West Java, said that his congregation was again banned on Sunday from holding services in their half-built church.

“We would really love to celebrate Christmas in our own church. But we can’t, since it’s been sealed. We will probably hold services on the street outside our sealed church,” Panjaitan said.

HKBP members have regularly been prevented from entering the church, according to the minister. “We always have to face people who block our way anytime we want to hold Sunday service. This I believe will be the same for Christmas.”

Panjaitan said that the congregation was too large to hold...