(Reading time: 2 - 3 minutes)
A group of people holding signs with the text, "Biarkan keberagaman tetap ada!" ("Let diversity remain!")
Members of the GKI Yasmin Church
promoting unity in diversity during 2012.
Photo: Morning Star News

For more than 15 years, the Gereja Kristen Indonesia (GKI) Yasmin Church in Bogor, Indonesia, has sought to meet for worship. The church was initially approved in 2006 but then rejected by local authorities. Although the Indonesian Supreme Court ruled in 2010 that the place of worship could reopen, local officials repeatedly caused delays. The root cause of the delays was influence from opposing militants of the Muslim-majority community. For earlier reports on the challenges encountered by members of this church, visit the following pages: Opposition Against Churches Continues and Christians Barred from Churches at Christmas.

With great excitement the new church building, which was constructed in a different location, officially opened on Easter Sunday, April 9th. Various politicians were on scene to participate in the ceremony – a welcomed celebration for congregants who witnessed this long-awaited victory after dealing for years with many setbacks during the building process.

However, the country's ongoing oppression, along with the many blockages faced by the congregation as their new place of worship was being built, brought about mixed emotions for other church members. Even though the mayor of Bogor spoke at the inauguration, they felt the leaders of Bogor were ultimately responsible for repeatedly succumbing to the pressure, and thus had contributed largely to the extensive delays. Due to the frustration experienced over the repeated delays, and the fact that the church was forced to relocate in the first place, these church members refused to attend the ceremony.

An editorial in The Jakarta Post raised concerns about the example set: "The government's support for such a compromise has set a bad precedent for solutions to conflicts related to the implementation of freedom of religion in other parts of the country. Rather than ending acts of intolerance, the GKI Yasmin model will only proliferate them."

Despite the recent opening of this specific church, the trend for local officials to oppose places of worship continues unabated in Indonesia. Only a week earlier, the Simalungun Christian Protestant Church in Cigelam was forced to close due to pressure from local Muslims who were opposed to the location where they were worshipping (read more). Unreasonable requirements have forced many Christian groups in the country to forgo registration regulations.

Let us praise God that the long-suffering congregation in Bogor now has a new place where they can gather together for worship. Pray that they will continue to be free to do so without encountering further interference from governing officials representing the area or other local residents. Pray that Indonesia's leaders will stand firm for what is right, despite the opposition they may face, and that other congregations in the country (including the recently closed church in Cigelam) will likewise be allowed to meet in freedom and peace.

Country Information


275,122,131 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Javanese (40.1), Sundanese (15.5), Malay (3.7), Balak (3.6), Madurese (3), Betawi (2.9), Minangkabau (2.7), Buginese (2.7), Bantenese (2), Other (23.8)

Religion (%)
Muslim (87.2), Christian (9.9), Hindu (1.7), Other (0.9), Unspecified (0.4)

President Joko Widodo (2014)

Government type
Presidential republic

Legal system
Civil law system based on the Roman-Dutch model and influenced by customary law

Sources: CIA World Factbook.

Pray for Indonesia

Pray for the continued growth of the church in Indonesia, despite the intense opposition and persecution that has taken place. May the destructive plans of the enemy to eradicate Christianity be frustrated and nullified.

Pray that whatever is intended for evil, God will turn around for good -- causing such hatred and violence to not only discredit extremism, but to also compel many to seek salvation in Christ... including the perpetrators of persecution.


Select a Region

Indonesia News

  • Church Building Sealed
    Protestant church
    A church in Indonesia
    Photo: DayakSibiriak (cc)

    The process of establishing and leading a church in Indonesia can be onerous, particularly in areas controlled by militant Islamic groups or where there are few Christians. In an attempt to establish "religious harmony," legislation was passed during

  • Official Stops Church Service
    A man studying the Bible and taking notes.
    An evangelist in Indonesia.
    Photo: VOMC

    A local village official in Indonesia stopped a church service on February 19th, demanding that the church discontinue meeting. This is only one example of the many challenges recently experienced by Christians in Indonesia. For previous reports, and to learn