Indonesia: Christian Family Expelled from Muslim Village Solely Because of Their Faith

April 8, 2019

There are also around 2000 members of the Indonesia Orthodox Church, with 13 parishes in Java, Bali, Sumatra, Celebes, Timor and Papua. 87% of Indonesians are Muslim. Like Christians in all too many other countries, all the Christians of Indonesia live under precarious circumstances, as exemplified by what happened to the family in this article: “the local chief and residents refused to accept their presence and ordered them to leave on the basis of a local regulation.”

Please pray that the Lord would soften the hearts of these officials toward their Christian people, and move them to welcome and protect the Christians who live among them.

“Yogyakarta Catholic family expelled because non-Muslim (video),” by Mathias Hariyadi, Asia News, April 2, 2019:

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Slamet Sumiarto…a Catholic painter, is the latest victim of religious intolerance in Yogyakarta special region after he and his family were expelled from a village because they are not Muslim.

The artist has just moved his family to Karet, a village in Pleret sub-district (Bantul Regency), but the local chief and residents refused to accept their presence and ordered them to leave on the basis of a local regulation…

Slamet yesterday posted a video on social media complaining about the situation. This has sparked a controversy across the country, prompting the authorities to open an investigation.

“I just moved here to Pleret and brought all my stuff and paintings to Karet,” said the painter. “Today I am very sad to know that I do not have the ‘right’ to stay and live here simply because I am not a Muslim and my whole family is Catholic.”

“From an emotional point of view, I am really exhausted from this unexpected experience,” he said. “My poor wife, my children and I hope to soon find a good solution to this problem so that I could stay here, in this rented house in Pleret”.

The video drew public attention to the matter and prompted Bantul Regency officials to organise a meeting to solve the issue to satisfy both the Catholic family and local Muslims.

Although an agreement was reached to let Slamet and his family to live in the village under the supervision of the authorities, the painter eventually decided to leave and find accommodation elsewhere….