The church was only open on Muslim sufferance, in accord with Sharia. However, members had gathered more than enough signatures from Muslims to allow it to stay open. However, then Islamic supremacists intimidated many of the signatories into withdrawing their signatures, and that was that.
Authorities in Bandung, West Java sealed shut the worship building of an Indonesian Christian Church (Huria Kristen Indonesia, or HKI) congregation on Oct. 23 after prominent Muslims persuaded residents to withdraw their signatures of approval for it, a pastor said.
According to a story by Morning Star News, Rev. Hari Hutagulung said that the church had gathered the signatures of 77 area Muslims in order for the 20-year-old church to apply for the proper building/use permit.
Sixty non-Christian signatures are required under Indonesian law. However, prominent Muslims persuaded many of them to withdraw their signatures, and police sealed the building last week, he said.
The building permit application process involved neighbourhood discussions of the church even after the signatures had been gathered, and it was then that influential Muslims urged residents to withdraw their approval, Morning StarNews reported the pastor said. Those opposed to the presence of the church formed a group called the Gathering of the Citizens of Neighbourhood 25 Forum.
“The problem arose when HKI officials began contacting all the citizens regarding the church,” Hutagulung said. “There were citizens who rejected the presence of a church.”
While other churches in West Java have faced loud protests from Islamists dedicated to close them down, last week’s closure took place quietly in 10 minutes, according to weekly Tempo Media.
“This building at number 35 Siliwangi Street is sealed,” read a sign that the Bandung police chief and another area official signed, the weekly noted….