Officials closed a church in Central Indonesia after neighbors protested its existence. Pastor Tigor Yunus Sitorus built a home in the Bantul neighborhood in 2003 intending for it to double as a house church. When community members learned he was using the house for non-Muslim religious activity, they protested. “We are the Muslim majority; we are obliged to keep the faith of our children and grandchildren, whose faith can be tainted in the long run if influenced by the existence of a church,” they said.
Authorities granted pastor Tigor a church building permit on January 15. However, after continued conflict, an official revoked the permit on July 26 and forced the congregation to worship elsewhere. Indonesia has religious freedom, but communities and Muslim extremist groups often influence local officials to act in favor of the Muslim majority. Pray that the church will continue to gather despite the loss of their building.