Tuesday, 11 September, 2012 | 14:39 WIB
Indonesia Asks Yasmin Church to Relocate
TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:After months of each standing their own ground, finally the Home Ministry decreed that the church of Gereja Kristen Indonesia (GKI) Yasmin, Bogor, West Java had to move. “This is the best solution,” said the Ministry spokesman, Reydonnyzar Moenek to Tempo on September 9.
According to Reydonnyzar, the government is preparing replacement land for the GKI Yasmin church on Jl. Dr. Semeru, Bogor regency. "The important thing is everyone can worship," he said. Bogor City administration has even allocated up to Rp10 billion for the construction of a new church for GKI Yasmin congregation in its Regional Budget. "This is a common ground that benefits everyone," said Reydonnyzar.
He asked the congregation to accept this relocation decision gracefully. "The government is asking for the wisdom of all parties, including from the GKI Yasmin," he said. He acknowledges that this solution is against the decision by the Supreme Court that GKI Yasmin could use the current place. Reydonnyzar also emphasized that the case of GKI Yasmin is not a violation of religious freedom. "It's just an ordinary matter between the mayor and its citizens," said Reydonnyzar glibly.
On September 7, 2012, Minister of the Home Affairs Gamawan Fauzi met with the Mayor of Bogor, the Indonesia Ulema Council, Forkami, FKUB, and representatives of GKI Yasmin. At the end of the meeting, Gamawan decided that relocation was the solution to the problem.
GKI Yasmin spokesman Bona Sigalingging flatly rejected the decision. "No matter where, no matter how expensive or beautiful the new location, we will not accept," Bona said strongly. According to him, if GKI Yasmin is relocated, then the rule of law in Indonesia has collapsed. "There will be a separation and putting in boxes based on SARA. This betrays the Unity in Diversity, "he said.
Bona explained that the congregation of GKI Yasmin has actually agreed with a solution that was released by the National Security Council (NSC) some time ago, which was for another place of worship to be built beside GKI Yasmin. But he said he did not understand where the sudden relocation decision was coming from.
"Today GKI Yasmin is relocated, HKBP Filadelfia is relocated, Ahmadiyah is relocated, the Shias are also relocated. What kind of country is this?" Bona asked scathingly.