HKBP Filadelfia Branch Members Attacked by Frogs, Urine by Islamists

HKBP Filadelfia church (The Jakarta Post/JP/R. Berto Wedhatama)

A mob of Islamists made their opposition to a Christian celebration of the ascension of Jesus known this week. When the Congregation of Batak Protestant Churches (HKBP) Filadelfia branch in Tambun, Bekasi, Indonesia, came together for a service, a group of radical Muslims reportedly blocked the church entrance and threw bags of urine, frogs and sewage at the Christians.

The Jakarta Globe describes how the incident unfolded:

A mob of Islamic hard-liners threw stones and bags of urine at the HKBP Filadelphia congreagation of the Batak Christian Protestant Church in Bekasi, on the outskirts of Jakarta, at an Ascension Day service on Thursday. Police tried to stop the mob of some 300 people, but were also attacked, according to reports. [...]

HKBP Filadelfia Branch Members Attacked by Frogs, Urine by Islamists“We [the congregation and the people] were only separated by a barricade of policemen who managed to protect us even though the intolerant people were trying so hard to break through the barricade,” the Rev. Palti Panjaitan told The Jakarta Post. “They threw urine, sewage and frogs at us — all of which also struck the policemen.”

According to Palti, the men didn’t carry any symbols that would identify them, but they yelled at churchgoers with a loudspeaker. The spectacle impeded upon the the Christians’ ability to hold their prayer celebration. In the end, they managed to pray for only about five minutes before being interrupted.

“We tried to negotiate with all parties, including that group and representatives from the local administration. We were told to abandon the service,” Palti said. “We finally gave in at 10 a.m. We want the mastermind arrested.”

According to the Post, the church has a history of issues concerning a building permit dispute with locals. The Globe provides a background on the ongoing legal drama:

HKBP Filadelphia submitted an application for a building permit in 2007, but church leaders say that despite meeting all the requirements, including the agreement of their neighbors, a permit was never issued.

On Dec. 31, 2009, the Bekasi district head issued a letter banning the members of the congregation from worshiping on the land, forcing the 560 members to hold services along the side of the road fronting the property.

In July 2011, the Supreme Court overruled the Bekasi administration’s decision, saying the church was eligible for a building permit. The court ordered Bekasi to issue one — but the district government ignored the ruling.

Congregants claim that the Islamists have been intimidating the church since January.

(H/T: The Gateway Pundit)