A Christian congregation outside Jakarta built a new church legally, but Muslims in the area object to it. In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled to allow worship at the church, but it remains sealed.
Vocal Muslim citizens opposed construction of the church and pressured the local government to cancel the permits. The local government acquiesced to the demands. But the church group went to court, and won. On an appeal, they won again. Finally, the case went all the way to Indonesia’s Supreme Court — where the church group won a third time, in 2010. But to this day, the congregation can’t worship there.
Indonesia, with its mix of Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and Christian citizens, has long had a reputation as a country that embraces religious diversity. Andreas Harsono, the Indonesia researcher for Human Rights Watch, sees things differently.