Indonesia: Catholics’ legal battle for restoration and expansion of church

In Tanjung Balai Karimun, on the Riau Islands, near Sumatra, a number of Catholics have become involved in a legal battle to reclaim their right to undertake restoration and expansion work in St. Joseph Church.

Despite having all the required permits from local authorities, some Muslim radicals have asked that those permits be revoked in the name of the common good. They say the project doesn’t benefit the population at all, and that it could cause problems, as it is located in the center of Karimun.

The Christian community’s response, supported by Msgr. Sunarka Ofm, Archbishop of the Diocese of Pangkalpinang, underlines the legality of the project, accompanied by the required documentation and the fact that the building will be constructed in a way that it respects the Muslim community, without any symbols on the outside of the building.

The construction would not even result in an entirely new place of worship. It would merely expand the existing structure, built in 1928, to accommodate the approximately 100 to 700 people who have joined the community.

Full news story: AsiaNews