The Jakarta Post
The Indonesian Communion of Churches (PGI) and several rights groups have lamented the Bekasi administration’s move to demolish the Batak Protestant Church (HKBP) of Setu in Bekasi regency, West Java.
The regional administration reasoned that the church was built in 1999 without a permit and had therefore violated a 1996 bylaw on construction permits (IMB).
On Friday, the head of the PGI’s Papua chapter, Rev. Karel Erari, expressed his dismay at the regent’s decision to demolish the house of worship and blamed the central government for remaining silent, saying that churches were public facilities that both the government and the administration should protect.
He said the church had struggled to obtain a building permit due to objections from the predominantly Muslim neighborhood, but the regency made the process even more complicated.