SURABAYA, Indonesia — A Christian congregation in Indonesia was prohibited from holding a worship service in front of a government building on Jan. 8. The congregation had tried to meet there after also being prohibited from meeting in its rented worship space at a mall.
Authorities banned a congregation of Elim Church Indonesia Christian from having a worship service near the Medan City Hall in North Sumatra Province, Morning Star News reported. An official said the site near the city hall is not acceptable for worship services.
Earlier, the congregation had rented space at Suzuya Mall in the Marella area of Medan for the purpose of worshipping. However, some individuals and the local administration opposed it, the Rev. Henrek Lokra, executive secretary of justice and peace of the Communion of Christian Churches, told Morning Star.
The mall not being an allocated place for worship was also given as the reason for prohibiting the service there, Lokra said.
On Jan. 17, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who is Muslim, said news of such incidents saddened him and that all individuals in the country have a constitutional right to worship.
Indonesia is No. 33 on Open Doors’ 2023 World Watch List of places most difficult to be a Christian.
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