Bogor’s NU Leader Gives Fresh Hope for GKI Yasmin Solution


JANUARY 07, 2015

Jakarta. Indonesia’s largest Muslim organization, the Nahdlatul Ulama, says it is ready to mediate talks between the Bogor administration and the GKI Yasmin congregation over the sealing of a church in Bogor.

The head of the Bogor chapter of NU, Irfan Haryanto, said on Tuesday that his organization had decided to become involved in the conflict over the church, which has been sealed off by the authorities since 2010, grabbing national media attention and giving Bogor a reputation as an “intolerant city.”

“Executives of the local NU chapter have communicated with both sides. Each of them has to take a step back so that we can talk because it is very possible for this issue to be solved,” Irfan said.

“We want both parties to stop being so obstinate so that we can solve the problem.”

Irfan called on Bogor residents to be committed to resolving the conflict and preventing similar disputes in the future if they did not want Bogor to continue with its reputation of intolerance and heated division.

“Everyone must be committed to building a peaceful and tolerant Bogor,” he said.

Members of the GKI Yasmin congregation were again forced to hold their Christmas service outside the State Palace in Central Jakarta two weeks ago.

The group had been denied permission to hold the service outside the locked-up church in Bogor by a local mob and public order officers.

The congregation has been locked out of its church since April 2010, after the Bogor administration revoked a building permit for the church issued in 2006, following protests from hard-line Muslims who objected to having the church in their neighborhood.