As UCA News reported on 10 April 2023, the GKI Yasmin church in Bogor finally opened after a 15 year struggle, highlighting the increasing influence of radical Muslim groups.
World Watch Research analyst Thomas Muller comments: “The battle over this church in Bogor (previously mentioned by WWR, e.g. in November 2015) illustrates well how churches have had to face both internal divisions caused by the search for solutions (WWL 2023 Indonesia - Full Country Dossier Indonesia, January 2023, p. 10) as well as struggles with radical Islamic groups and accommodating authorities. It would seem that democracy in Indonesia is being eroded by the ‘deep-rooted ideological division regarding the role of Islam’ (East Asia Forum, 29 March 2023), and that it is mainly minorities such as Christians who are paying the price for this, even though ‘reconciliation’ efforts by Peace and Harmony Forums may be well-meaning (The Diplomat, 25 April 2023).
Thomas Muller adds: Meanwhile, in the run-up to the presidential elections in February 2024, candidates are now jockeying for the best positions and brushing up their religious credentials. Again, in an increasingly conservative Muslim society, this comes at the expense of religious minorities.”