Church Building Difficulties

Mar 28th, 2006, in News, by

The leader of the Nadhlatul Ulama, a traditionalist village Islamic social organisation, Hasyim Muzadi, says Christians will find it even harder to gain permission for church building in the wake of the newly revised law on houses of worship.

Hasyim Muzadi, known to be a rather conservative Muslim figure, says that the new regulations are even more restrictive than the old with the reason being that the drafters of the law tried to accommodate too many competing interests and views.

Speaking at a gathering of alumni of the Darussalam Gontor boarding school in Ponorogo, East Java, he said:

We previously warned church figures against revising the old joint decree because of fresh fears a more restrictive one would emerge in view of the numerous interests of religious communities. What we most feared is a reality. Now, we can do nothing because it is already in place.

But he offered some help:

The NU will help create field conditions in which non-Muslims face no difficulties in obtaining building permits and no security problems in constructing churches, temples or other houses of worship. That is how important it is to create harmony among religious communities.

Muzadi is known to dislike evangelical Christians, while having quite a positive attitude to the Catholic church (he meets with the Roman Catholic archbishop of Jakarta once a month). The NU though, particularly in somewhere like east Java, its powerbase, generally has a very good reputation among Christians. Other, smaller Islamic organisations tend to be where any trouble comes from in respect of objections to the building of churches.

6 Comments on “Church Building Difficulties”

  1. Skylark says:

    Thank you for this – it is difficult to hear of this kind of information . Do the existing churches have to pay any extra tax for their existence – i.e. jizya?

  2. David says:

    Hi Skylark, no definitely no jizya, that kind of thing wouldn’t even get an airing I think.

  3. Sri says:

    Have no doubt about the ploy, In Australia, the problem all starts from foriegn financed mosques and schools, not Moslem migrants (older generation) as claimed. Australia needs to wake up! All insiders and outsiders must realise, Indonesians mainstream Moslems are not insync with Islamist extremists who opose building churches but like to speak on behalf of “the worlds most populas Muslim nation”.

    Most Indonesian Moslems are everyday normal people who dont care about churches for other people, but they are losing control to and frightened of Islamists who have foriegn financial backing, and normal Indonesians are to frightened to speak.

  4. R. Patterson says:

    It’s sad that foreign Christians will see any prohibition, for building Churches ,for whatever reason, as an Islamic anti-Christian ploy. I mean it looks nice, that is has “fine legal?” reasons but none the less it’s anti-Christian. Especially when in Australia mosques, Moslem schools etc can and are being erected. Now if it is seen that you are prohibiting Churches why shouldn’t we prohibit Moslem worship centres here? Remember it is not what you do but how it is perceived by outsiders. Are we Christians more righteous , decent and tolerant than Indonesian Moslems?? R. Patterson

  5. Felis says:

    Australia needs to wake up!
    We’re working on it!

  6. Boeboe says:

    One thing about the topic. It doesn’t matter how hard you tried to repress Christians to worship, there’s nothing you can do to eliminate the Faith. Look back to what Romans do to Christians. UH, Duh? is there any Christian left after that? Well, i rest my case.

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