GKI Yasmin Church Can Reopen if a Mosque Is Built Next Door: Bogor Mayor

By webadmin on 03:38 pm May 02, 2012
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Camelia Pasandaran

Bogor’s embattled GKI Yasmin church can reopen, as long as a mosque is built next door, Bogor mayor Diani Budiarto said in a letter to the Presidential Advisory Board (Wantimpres) on Wednesday.

Bogor’s administration sealed the church in April of 2010, forcing the beleaguered 300-member congregation to hold mass in front of the church
or, at times, in private. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the church
in 2010, but Diani ignored the ruling, leaving the congregation without
a house of worship.

Now, as long as a mosque is built next door, the church may reopen.

Diani said that he coined the idea adding that he floated the idea to GKI Yasmin’s
congregation in September 2011.  The church decline the offer, the mayor said.

But Bona Sigalingging, spokesman for the GKI Yasmin church, said that exchange never happened.

GKI Yasmin officials still welcomed the idea.

“Let’s think positively that the mayor might try to communicate his idea
to build a mosque near by GKI Yasmin, like the Cathedral and Istiqlal
mosque [which sit side by side in Jakarta],” Bona said. “But for GKI
Yasmin, this [will hopefully] solve the
case.”

Albert Hasibuan, of Wantimpres, heralded the idea as a break through in solving the conflict.

“This
is new and promising solution,” Albert said. “A mosque built near to the location of
GKI Yasmin is an implementation of the law [that says the] country [should] maintain
the concept of unity among diversity.”

It is unclear when the church will reopen, but Wantimpres will meet with Diani to discuss the move, Albert said.