How Obama’s Moderate Muslim Indonesia is Ruining Christmas

“Is that where you murdered 100,000 Christians?”

If you want to understand Obama, skip the memoirs and head straight for his homeland in Indonesia, the place where he grew up, its history of Christian genocide in East Timor and its treatment of Christians at home who make up 10 percent of the population but have very few civil rights.

Building churches in Indonesia requires dealing with angry Muslim mobs and even angrier Muslim politicians.

A mayor in West Java who disregarded a Supreme Court ruling to reinstate the building permit of a church in Bogor has now dismissed a recommendation by the National Ombudsman Institute to do so.

Bogor Mayor Diani Budiarto rejected the recommendation to reinstate the permit for the Indonesian Christian Church (Gereja Kristen Indonesia, or GKI) Yasmin Bogor Church last month, leaving the congregation to worship on a small strip of land as 15 to 20 Muslim demonstrators taunt them.

And now two congregations are locked out of their churches for Christmas.

For the Rev. Palti Panjaitan of the Batak Christian Protestant Church (HKBP) Filadelfia congregation in Bekasi, the lack of a Christmas tree is the least of his worries.

“How can we think about Christmas decorations or a Christmas tree when our church is still sealed off from us?” he said on Thursday.

“Our focus now is just to be able to hold Christmas prayers in our own church.”

The congregation of around 600 has since 2007 been forced to worship on the street outside its church or in members’ homes as the Bogor district administration continues to deny it a permit.

The congregation has taken the matter to the West Java State Administrative Court and the Supreme Court, both of which ordered the district to issue the permit and reopen the church. But the district has refused to comply, citing residents’ opposition to the presence of the church in their midst.

Remember, Muslims are entitled to build a mosque at Ground Zero, but Christians in even “moderate” Muslim countries are not entitled to just being able to build a church or use it once it has been built.

Outrage from Obama over this in 3-2-1-never. But his State Department is “deeply disappointed” because Israel is building houses in Jerusalem. There may even be a synagogue or two there.

  • AdinaK

    Fellow patriots, wherever you reside, keep repeating – there is NO moderate Islam. It is akin to being half pregnant. Either you are or you aren't.
    While there are moderate Muslims, this is neither here nor there. For those who rule Muslim states only rule by Islamic Shariah Law –

    And Christians/Jews,any and all 'infidels', are always in danger of Islam & its relationship to blood –

    And without understanding the above it becomes impossible to intuit the clash of civilization which is playing out, all over the world. And without an Islamic reformation the world will continually be awash in Islamic fueled blood –

    Time to beat the drums on all of the above. It is what it is, sugarcoating aside.
    Adina Kutnicki, Israel –

    • gus

      Thank you for saying something that needs to be said. Obama will not even use the word "terrorist" much less "Islamic terrorist". We have to do something to this guy (and no, I do not mean physically)
      He is a subversive and needs to be dragged out into the open. If the government or the media won't do it, it is up to us, the citizens.
      He is without question the most dangerous President we have ever had.
      Any ideas?
      Citizens movements are in the best and highest of American traditions.
      Let's roll!

  • Mary Sue

    Obama has like 0 concern for Christians (and 10% fake concern).

    • gus

      Obama's only concern is himself then getting elected (see Benghazi) then power. He is a narcissist without the usual feelings of a human being.
      How else can you explain his texting about clothes (!) with David Axelbrod at Andrews Air Force Base when they were unloading the four bodies coming back from Benghazi?

  • Paul Keys

    Slow down! I'm an American living in Indonesia and I feel obliged to point out the story above does not at all describe Christian-Muslim relations in Indonesia. It's very misleading. I'm pleased to say interfaith harmony is succeeds for the vast majority of Christians and Muslims. There are for sure points of friction, but religious and civil freedoms are widely enjoyed by Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and Confucians. The article above could not be more misleading. The Catholicism of the East Timorese is incidental to their persecution. It's worth noting one of the chief architects of East Timorese genocide for Suharto was Benny Moerdani, a Catholic leader and head of intelligence and later the Indonesian armed forces for Suharto. My apartment in Central Jakarta overlooks a newly built 1,200 seat megachurch, and Christmas songs and decorations are extant. What is wrong with Mr Greenfield's claim that Christian in Indonesia have "very few civil rights" is proportion. There are sectarian frictions and tensions and persecution of religious minorities in Indoonesia; however, it is very rare, and pluralist sentiment is strong.

  • lily longflower

    mr. greenfield is obviously an idiot whose research is non existent.

    such a poor excuse for journalism

    • Paul Keys

      Shame on him. I was shocked at what he wrote, and I hope he feels embarrassed and ashamed. If he would like to learn about religion, sectarianism and pluralism in Indonesia, I can direct him to good reading. It would be even better if he visited in person.

  • Sacha Amry

    Thank you Paul, you took the words out of my mouth. I am visiting Indonesia at the moment from New York for my winter vacation. Contrary to the article, I have observe that the people here are very tolerant and open minded. I was in the capital, Jakarta for a few days and currently in Bandung, West Java and since I have arrived my sense of Christmas holiday is comparable to New York or Los Angeles, where I grew up. The media in Indonesia, as well as, several politicians are saying their blessings for the holidays and the new year. The endless number of malls in the country are filled with the vibrancy of Christmas decorations (saw a Christmas tree that was as high as Rockefeller Center) while at the same time hearing the moslem call to prayer. I truly sense the country;s motto of "Bhineka Tunggal Ika," "Unity in Diversity" is alive and well. For goodness sake, my Christian neighbors are spewing fire crackers onto the air and are jollyingly singing Christmas songs right now. Of course there are always the fanatics in some corner of every country, the US included, I know, I have traveled throughout the US extensively. Unfortunately, these are the folks who are usually the most vocal.

    • Paul Keys

      It's nice to meet you, Sacha! I agree with everything you wrote. Have a great stay in Indonesia. Merry Christmas, etc.

  • Kevinchila

    Religious freedom in the country of Indonesia does look ironic. The Indonesian government should be able to be more assertive against anarchist actions detrimental to society and minorities in this country. Scott Tucker

  • emilyreginald

    Alla hatade begäran hålla telefonen, men det är livet. Om du har tekniken för att spela tonen musik ratten, kan du fylla den med företagets budskap. Detta är ett tillfälle att berätta för kunder om företaget och de tjänster du erbjuder.

  • Imam Mutaqin

    “Building churches in Indonesia requires dealing with angry Muslim mobs and even angrier Muslim politicians.”

    Please do your own reseach before making such a ridiculous statement. There are 61.000 Churches in this muslim majority country. You cite only 1 case of church building in dispute, out of 61,000 churches successfully built.

    Should you need a correction, I suggest that your statement should read like this:

    “Building A CHURCH IN A CERTAIN LOCATION in BOGOR, INDONESIA requires dealing with angry Muslim mobs and even angrier Muslim politicians.”

    • rawitpepper

      Most are there before the threeministry decree and more are brought down after the decree… and it still remain hard to issue new permit for building one…