INDONESIA: Residents Attempt to Shut Down Worship Service

04 July 2023

Source: International Christian Concern

Residents of Bekasi, Indonesia, attempted to disband a Christian worship service in their neighbourhood. In a video circulating on social media, Pastor Ellyson explained that they weren’t trying to build a church but only want to worship with other Christians.  

The residents were not satisfied and insisted that the church must have a permit to make a residential house a house of worship.  

However, Pastor Ellyson still refused. In the video, he asked the residents if the church could meet once a week to worship or how many times worship could be held in a month. The residents protesting did not provide an answer. He then asked why the service had to be shut down, but they still could not provide him with an answer.  

Ellyson added that the services they started a few months ago did not violate the rules of the building permit. The worship services had been reported to the Forum for Religious Harmony (FKUB), and there are no problems.  

In Muslim-majority Indonesia, it is common for non-Muslims to face obstacles as they seek to obtain building permits from the government. Even if they received the permit, local authorities often cave into hardline groups’ protests and demands, leading to the cancellation of their permits.   

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    Pray for them

    Ask the Lord to grant wisdom to Pastor Ellyson and others in leadership as they deal with those who oppose church gatherings.

    Pray the church will be strengthened by the Lord and that they would encourage each other to show great love and care to their neighbours and in doing so, may they be a powerful witness for the gospel.

    Pray for the many VOM-sponsored front-line workers in Indonesia. Ask for the Lord’s favour and protection and that God would work powerfully through them.

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