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Jakarta Post

Intolerance overshadows Christmas

  • Ardila Syakriah
    Ardila Syakriah

    The Jakarta Post

PREMIUM
Jakarta   /   Thu, December 26, 2019   /  09:50 am
The Jakarta Post Image
Locked out: Members of the Yasmin Indonesian Christian Church (GKI Yasmin) and the Filadelfia Congregation of Batak Protestant Churches (HKBP Filadelfia) take part in a Christmas Mass in front of the Presidential Palace in Central Jakarta on Wednesday.(JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

Christians across the country celebrated Christmas peacefully on Wednesday, but not all were able to attend churches to enjoy the festivities, as their right to freedom of worship continues to be undermined by the state. Some Indonesian Christians are prevented from holding prayers and services because of various laws, in particular a joint ministerial decree that has long made it difficult for religious minorities to get permits to build their places of worship. For eight years, members of the Yasmin Indonesian Christian Church (GKI Yasmin) and the Filadelfia Congregation of Batak Protestant Churches (HKBP Filadelfia) have held Mass in front of the Presidential Palace to send a message to the government: that they have been deprived of their right to have their own places of worship. Wednesday was the eighth time the congregations have held Christmas service in front of the pal...