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‘Impossible’ to build new churches in Indonesian province

Catholic World News - January 13, 2014

A government official in the Indonesian province of Aceh said that “it is impossible” for the increasing Christian population there to build new churches, according to Khabar Southeast Asia, a website of the US military’s Pacific Command.

In 2006, Indonesia decreed that the construction of a house of worship requires a petition signed by 90 congregants and 60 local residents. The following year, Aceh’s government required signatures of 150 congregants and 120 local residents.

“With the joint ministerial decree alone, it already was difficult to get the support of 60 residents, and obviously it would be more challenging to get the support of 120 to build houses of worship. It is impossible to fulfill,” said Sondang Marbun.

In addition, “the pressures of radical Islamic groups on the civilian authorities have made it extremely difficult for non-Muslims to build new places of worship,” the Fides news agency noted.

The Southeast Asian nation of 251 million is 86% Muslim, 6% Protestant, 3% Catholic, and 2% Hindu.

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  • Posted by: wsw33410 - Jan. 13, 2014 8:13 PM ET USA

    This is a "law" in the province (Aceh), which was rebuilt after tsunami from the ground entirely by the Western governments' money and efforts of many Christian organizations. "Love your neighbor" is a difficult commandment to follow in the Muslims' majority countries.

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Jan. 13, 2014 6:44 AM ET USA

    It must be added that the "120 local residents" who are to sign the petition are not to include members of the petitioning congregation! Considering the traditional methods of "persuasion" Mohammedanism is infamous for around the world, it is surprising that even one "local resident" dares to sign such a document. This is the kind of "justice" awaiting the entire West if it continues to treat Muslim immigration as a benign phenomenon. Europe is learning this truth right now, and we will be next.

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