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.
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.