The Jakarta Post
Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil has asserted that religious services in the city do not require permits, though the organizer should send a notification letter to the police.
“If there are parties that have said the organizing of a religious service here requires a permit, it’s truly wrong. It doesn’t need any permit, no matter what and when,” he said in Bandung on Friday.
The mayor highlighted the matter after a meeting with representatives of state institutions and religious organizations on Thursday evening.
Ridwan said it was agreed during the meeting that the use of public buildings for religious services was allowed as long as it was incidental in nature and not something held routinely.
“What we strictly prohibit civil groups from committing is entering houses of worship of other religions. If that happens, they could be charged with violating articles 175 and 176 of the Criminal Code [KUHP]. But even in the worst situation, it is only the police that have the authority to take action against such a violation,” he said.
Supporters of two Islamic mass organizations, namely Pembela Ahlu Sunnah (PAS) and Dewan Da’wah Islamiyah Indonesia (DDII), staged a rally against a religious service led by Rev. Stephen Tong at the Sasana Budaya Ganesha (Sabuga) Building in Bandung on Tuesday.
The protesters demanded the congregation hold its religious service in a church, not in a public facility, including Sabuga. They entered the building and forced the congregation and choir members to disperse. (ebf)
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