CHURCH UNDER ATTACK AGREES TO CHANGE VENUE
September 29 MPBS24/7 REPORT From CDN â A West Java church has agreed to move temporarily to a government-selected site following Islamist harassment that included a Sept. 12 attack on two of its leaders. The Batak Christian Protestant Church (Huria Kristen Batak Protestan, or HKBP) in Ciketing village, Bekasi, decided in a congregational meeting on Sunday (Sept. 26) to accept a government offer to move worship services to the former Organization and Political Party building on the condition that local officials will keep a promise to build a new house of worship for them within two years in the Mustika Sari district. The Rev. Luspida Simanjuntak, who received hospital treatment after she was struck with a wooden plank by suspected Islamic extremists in the Sept. 12 attack, said that the church was ready to stop struggling. âWe are tired of being intimidated and terrorized,â Pastor Simanjuntak said. âWe will be able to worship quietly and peacefully.â Church lawyer Saor Siagian said that the church had accepted the temporary move with the understanding that the Bekasi municipal government must fulfill its pledge. The government agreed to build a new church building to replace the structure the church is leaving on a 2,500-square meter lot belonging to PT Timah, the Government Tin Mining Co. in the Mustika Sari area of Bekasi. The church met at the new site on Sunday with dozens of police guarding the building.