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0 GKI Yasmin Bogor, Minggu 16 Oktober 2011 dalam video

Filmed by Krishidayat

GKI Yasmin members worship under police guard
Members of the Taman Yasmin Indonesian Christian Church (GKI) performed their Sunday service under the watchful eyes of the Bogor Police, who earlier managed to stave off troublemakers from local vigilante groups who tried to disrupt their mass.

Members of the Bogor Police arrived early in the morning to erect roadblocks at sections of Jl. KH Abdullah Bin Nuh to keep back members of local Muslim groups, who had pledged to evict GKI Yasmin congregation members from their place of worship.

Bogor Police chief of operations Comr. Irwansyah said a 600-meter section of the road was closed and was divided into two in order to separate more than 250 local Muslim protesters and more than 30 members of GKI Yasmin who performed their Sunday service in front of a car dealership office.

“We were trying to prevent the two groups from clashing, otherwise the Sunday service could not have taken place,” he said.

Earlier, members of the GKI Yasmin congregation were harassed while trying to conduct holy communion. Violence again broke out last week when Bogor public order officers allegedly tried to grab a church minister who was about to lead the Sunday service.

Bogor Public Order Agency head Bambang Budianto was injured in the incident and had to be rushed to a nearby hospital.

Following the incident, Bambang filed a report with the Bogor Police against GKI member Jayadi Damanik over alleged misconduct.

Jayadi followed suit by filing a complaint with the police.

On Sunday, the GKI Yasmin congregation managed to perform a two-hour service under police guard.

Members of Muslim groups, some of whom donned Muslim garb, arrived as early as 4 a.m. and proceeded to patrol the area.

They called on GKI Yasmin members to stop conducting their Sunday service on the street, and encouraged them to worship in a new location provided by the Bogor municipal government.

Some among the group were concerned over the disruption to public order that the Sunday service had caused.

“We don’t want to prohibit them from performing their religious service. We just don’t want them to use public facilities as it will disrupt order,” said Agus, one of the protesters.

The protest wrapped up at 11:30 a.m. soon after the Sunday service had ended.

The Yasmin congregation reiterated their stance that the Bogor municipal administration must reopen the church soon.

“We hope the government does not bow to their [Muslim groups] request. We have a solid legal foundation for the construction of the church with the Supreme Court ruling and a decision made by the Ombudsman,” GKI Yasmin spokesman Bona Sigalingging said.

The Yasmin church has been sealed off by the Bogor adminisitration since 2008, despite a Supreme Court ruling last year, which upheld the legality of the church. Members of the church have held Sunday services on the sidewalk in front of the church’s construction site ever since.

The Jakarta Post

Hard-Line Group Occupies Yasmin Church Sidewalk

Bogor. Hundreds of men from a local Muslim hard-line group occupied the roadway in front of the GKI Yasmin church on Sunday, forcing congregation members to hold their service a kilometer away from their sealed building.

The churchgoers have been staging prayers on the sidewalk outside their church for more than a year now, after the Bogor city government sealed off the building. However, on Sunday police had blocked access to the church by 7 a.m.

“[The congregation members] were not permitted to come any closer for security reasons. We are afraid they will clash with members of Forkami,” said Bogor Police Chief Adj. Comr. Hilman, referring to the Indonesian Muslim Communication Forum.

Since dawn on Sunday, some 200 Forkami members had been occupying the pavement in front of the GKI Yasmin where churchgoers usually staged their prayers. The men, dressed in white robes and skullcaps, shouted praises to Allah and were on the lookout for GKI congregation members.

“We are grateful that no GKI Yasmin people dared to show their faces here,” Forkami chairman Ahmad Iman told his members in the oration.

“We want this church building to be gone next week. If it still stands, then we will personally bring it down.”

Bogor Mayor Diani Budiarto has stood in defiance of a Supreme Court order to reopen the church after the court ruled that its closure was illegal.

The Ombudsman commission has also written to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono saying that Diani had violated the court order.

“This is just a recommendation for the president and the legislature, so there is no problem for the Bogor city government [in not abiding by the ruling] because any institution has the right to issue such recommendations,” the mayor said.

The Bogor administration initially issued a building permit for GKI Yasmin in 2006, but it revoked it two years later, alleging that the church had falsified the signatures required by law to obtain it.

Since the closure decision was annulled by the court in December, Diani issued another letter ordering the church to be relocated, saying that GKI Yasmin had been built on a street with an Islamic name.

“The city government has been given the authority by the central government to resolve the dispute, so we did, by issuing a decision letter on March 11,” Diani said, adding that the surrounding neighborhood had been opposed to the church’s construction.

“GKI is welcome to use the land provided by the city government on Jalan Siliwangi and all expenses will be compensated.”

GKI Yasmin spokesman Bona Sigalingging said that by rejecting the court’s decision, the mayor was blatantly refusing to abide by the law.

“We see that the central government has remained silent and showed no commitment in executing the Supreme Court decision and Ombudsman recommendation,” he said. “When can we pray in our legally built church?”

The chairman of the Bogor Communion of Churches (BKGS), Henky Benaya, said the city government has discriminated against the construction of new churches as well. “We see that acquiring building permits for churches in Bogor is difficult and can take years,” he said.

Henky added that the BKGS, as the representative of some 84 churches in Bogor, had never been consulted in the city’s decision to seal off or relocate the GKI Yasmin.

“We just hope that the matter will be resolved soon, and we all are praying for it,” he said.

The Jakarta Globe

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