Oppressed Christians In The Street Heat, In Pluralist Indonesia
Just got home, late afternoon, and it’s still hot outdoors.
Every year, every other week, these brave, persecuted Christians have been worshipping on Jakarta’s street, forced to do so because the Government of Indonesia will not enforce a ruling from their own Supreme Court.
Two weeks ago, the pre-Easter Service, across the street from President Jokowi’s Palace
The endless torment of these innocent people is an affront to anyone with a sense of justice. But the engrained Islamist intolerance among many here, not most but many, has to be seen and heard to be believed.
Take the ‘moderate’ Mayor of Bogor, where the GKI Yasmin congregation’s sealed church is located.
His predecessor was a frothing fanatic, and when Bima Arya was elected a couple of years ago, a lot of us seriously thought this might herald a new era of religious liberty.
Instead, we had to publish the reality, under this headline.
So today, Easter Sunday, off I went to show solidarity on the roadside opposite President Jokowi’s Palace.
Persecuted Protestants begin worship.
I took these two photos (above and below) myself today- sorry if they’re not high quality.
The sign records the sadfact that this is the 142nd time they’ve been here on the street, instead of their own church, which was sealed by vicious sectarian bigots
It’s been the practice of these oppressed Christians to reserve one of their little plastic seats for Jokowi, in case he cares enough to join them.
But, presumably to underline his oft-proclaimed commitment to plurlism and religious liberty, he’s never crossed the street to join them…
Rizieq, far left, Jokowi with microphone
…an interesting contrast with his readiness to appear on the same platform with the blood-thirsty Islamist Habib Rizieq not long ago.