In the Bekasi district, West Java, a group of Islamic extremists managed to prevent the construction of the church of St. Clare by organizing a demonstration that lasted a whole day. According to the demonstrators, the catholic community does not have permission to continue building the parish.
Although the mayor has shown regular documentation, and the administration has refused the subsequent accusations of corruption, the first citizen has recommended to the Christians to halt the construction of the church. In the meanwhile, the local community will celebrate Mass on Sundays in a building that is property of the army.
Since 2006, according to a joint decree of the ministry for religious affairs and that of the interior, to be approved, every church project must bear the signatures of at least 90 faithful and must be supported by at least 60 signatory residents of the area approved by the head village.
The church of S. Clear, despite having obtained all the necessary permits, had to clash with the violence of the Islamic groups. Ali Murtado, one of the demonstrators states that no church should be built in North Bekasi, a city that constituted solely of “pious Muslims”.