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(CHRISTIAN HEADLINES) – Two local officials in Indonesia joined Islamist organizations’ call to block construction of a Christian church, triggering objections nationwide the past two months, according to published reports.
In western Java Island’s Banten Province, Cilegon Mayor Heldy Agustian and his deputy, Sanuji Pentamarta, were among those who signed a petition to ban construction of a church building in Cilegon’s Grogol District in early September, sparking complaints of government interference in religious freedom, according to media outlet Detik.com.
“This incident harms the 1945 Constitution, which guarantees equality of every citizen to adhere to a certain religion and to worship freely in accordance to their own religions,” the Rev. Jerry Sumampow, spokesman for the Communion of Churches in Indonesia (Persekutuan Gereja-gereja di Indonesia, or PGI), said in a Sept. 9 statement.