Indonesian Christians ordered to stop worshipping in home
October 20, 2009
(christiansunite.com) - After several weeks of pressure and intimidation, members of the Jakarta Christian Baptist Church have been ordered by officials to cease worshipping in the home of Pastor Bedali Hulu.
The officials were reportedly pressured to make the order by the Islamic Defenders Front, the Betawi Forum Group and members of the political party Hizbut Tahrir. On September 13, hundreds of Muslims barged into Pastor Hulu's home and forced the believers to leave. Several days later, a church-owned vehicle was burned in the pastor's driveway. A large crowd again surrounded the home on September 27, demanding that the worship service be stopped.
Pastor Hulu established and registered his church with Religious Affairs authorities in 2005 and obtained written permission from a local official to hold the services. However, in 2006 a Joint Ministerial Decree was revised, insisting congregations be composed of at least 90 adult members, demanding permission from at least 60 adult neighbours and requiring a permit from local authorities. According to local Christians, it is nearly impossible to meet all of these terms to qualify for a permit.
Ask God to use this ordeal to strengthen the members of this church. Pray that they will keep their eyes on Jesus, persevere in their faith and not grow weary or lose heart (Hebrews 10:32-39; 12:1-3).
To find out more about the suffering of Indonesian believers, please visit www.persecution.net/indonesia.htm.