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Mob attacks church in Depok, Indonesia

Indonesia Church

A group of approximately 50 angry people attacked Maranatha Chapel in Cinere, Depok City, Indonesia, on the 16th of September. The chapel, which is used by the GBI Cinere Christian congregation, was not hosting any services at the time of the incident.

The mob caused mayhem with shouting, banging the gates and pushing against the fence of the shophouse that functions as the church building. 

Details of the incident were made public via Instagram on the same day. Members of the congregation expressed concerns about future safety during worship services. As a result, the church decided to transition to online services.

GBI Cinere Chapel Pastor, Didi S Natha, confirmed that the the first online service was held the day after the disorder, with musicians and congregation members managing the streaming activities. Pastor Natha also mentioned that the congregation had started the permit application process for their place of worship two months before the incident. The church had moved from Pangkalan Jati to Gandul Cinere and had met all requirements for legal status, including obtaining 60 signatures and ID cards from residents.

There are 34.2 million Christians in Indonesia, which makes up about 12% of the country’s population. There are more Muslims in Indonesia than any other country in the world. A conservative Islamic approach puts pressure on Christians, who have to deal with regular disapproval, intense pressure to return to Islam, verbal abuse and possibly social isolation. In some cases, families will withdraw all support, and married women may keep their new faith secret to avoid the threat of their husbands divorcing them. Some women struggle with psychological abuse, including death threats, for practising Christianity. In some provinces women must wear a hijab. Christian women not complying with this will be exposed to bullying, interrogation and being labelled as ‘immoral women’.

Islamic extremists jump at the opportunity to interfere with Christian churches, making it extremely difficult to get a permit. 


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