Indonesian Catholic Church Finally Gets Building Permit After 34 Years



12/22/2021 Indonesia (International Christian Concern) – After 34 years of waiting, a parish church in the Indonesian Archdiocese of Jakarta has finally received the necessary IMB (building permit) from the government to build a church.

UCA News reports that Jakarta Governor Anies Rasyied Baswedan presented the permit to Christ’s Peace Parish in Tambora Subdistrict during a groundbreaking ceremony on December 21. several government officials.

“Unity must be maintained… We hope that the people living around this parish will also feel at peace. Parishioners and residents will respect each other. When we speak of oneness, we are referring to the oneness which is beyond ceremonial and accidental events ”, said Baswedan.

The parish, established by Jesuit Archbishop Leo Sukoto of Jakarta in 1987, met in a multipurpose hall owned by a Catholic school foundation due to the lack of IMB. The 2013 demonstration by an extremist Muslim group, the Front of Islamic Defenders, led to the rejection of the church’s IMB.

Father of the Sacred Heart Hironimus Ronny Dahua of Christ’s Peace Parish said these parishioners had fought for the permit for 34 years.

“We were faced with various experiences. But today, God sends you, Mr. Governor, to present and participate in the inauguration ceremony. It’s incredible,” he said.

“It moves us. In addition, the permit is granted just days before Christmas Day, when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus. And you proclaim the Good News before that ”, he added.

In predominantly Muslim Indonesia, it is common for non-Muslims to face obstacles when seeking to obtain an IMB from the government. Even if they have received the permit, local authorities often give in to protests and demands from extremist groups, leading to the cancellation of their permits. One example is the Yasmin Church in Bogor, Indonesia. It’s been 13 years since their IMB was rejected by their mayor. To this day, they still cannot finish building their church.

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