World News

Muslim family disturbs Christian worship in Indonesia

Christian worshippers of the West Indonesia Protestant Church were disturbed and harassed when a Muslim family was screaming and cursing outside on the 8th of May.

Thirty members of the house church had been disturbed during worship when a local Muslim family started shouting, yelling outside in East Java Province’s Betiting village. Christians have been gathering in this house for ten years without any incident. 

One of the worshippers, Gabriella, recalled the event: “They came shouting at us to stop worship. The situation attracted residents to come, including the head of RT 11, who tried to calm the situation down.”

There is recorded evidence of the incident that has been posted on social media. The narrator states in the video: “A family was seen immediately disturbing the activity of GPIB members in Benowo. Yayak Hari Subagio and his wife Yayik Susilowati, a public servant at the Cerme 1 Public High School, with their son started yelling. The situation attracted the attention of the residents. They tried to calm the situation down.”

According to Cerme Police Chief Andik Asworo the local police are investigating the incident: “It was a dismissal, not a disbanding. We are still waiting for confirmation from the local RT.”

Sirojul Munir, former chairman of the Lamongan Branch of the Association of Indonesia Islamic Students expressed his disappointment over the episode: “It is strange enough because the perpetrators are not the local community/RT members and thus triggering a conflict that shocked residents. It’s a shame that this happened, let alone such a thing never happened in the local community in the last 10 years. Maybe this is a reminder that the Inter-Religious Harmony Forum needs to continue to socialize and promote the values of religious moderation that encourage harmony and tolerance between various elements of the society.”

Even though house worship is legal in Indonesia, anti-Christian attacks have increased in the past decades. The country has the largest Muslim population in the world, at 231 million people.


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