The congregation of the Kemah Daud Christian Church in Lampung, Sumatra, was forced to end the service after several locals forced their way inside in an effort to scatter the worshipping congregation. The disbandment was carried out by a group of dishonest members of the public, one of whom was supposedly the chief of the neighborhood. This incident occurred on February 19, about 9:30 a.m., and was purportedly led by the chief of the neighborhood, who broke down the church door after climbing over the fence. According to Lina Sinambela, a member of the congregation, "Everything happened abruptly. A group of about ten locals came into the church area and leapt down the fence asking to disperse the service."
When the church congregation was conducting the service, the chief of the neighborhood appeared irate. Others compelled churchgoers to stop worshipping and told them to leave the building. When the congregation refused to disperse, the chief of the neighborhood threatened to bring in even more people to stop the singing.
The music and singing had to stop. The church congregation had requested that the worship procession be extended for one hour or until it was completed, but these negotiations were turned down, which set off a ruckus that included assaulting and threatening the church pastor.
According to Parlin, the Chairman of the Church Development Committee, A local stormed into the church, pushing the ushers aside, climbed up onto the platform, and managed to strangle the pastor. The pastor's hand had scars from his attempts to stand up for himself. The congregation eventually left amid stressful circumstances.
The reason behind the dispersion was that the Kemah Daud Christian Church did not have the permit to conduct worship there, and because the location they used for service was a private residence rather than a church building.
Kemah Daud Christian Church has been rejected on numerous occasions by the neighborhood heads. “The neighborhood permit process is already in place,” Parlin said, “In terms of licensing concerns, there used to be permission from some chiefs of the neighborhood, resident signatures, and copies of the residents' ID. However, it never made it to the sub-district or the city government.” As a result, the rejection persists because they are still regarded as an illegal church.
Following this incident, the police mediated a meeting between the church, residents, and numerous regional authorities.
"Based on the results of the discussion, we agreed that Kemah Daud Christian Church would be permitted to operate for two years with a temporary permit," said Senior Commissioner (Kombes) Ino Harianto of the Bandar Lampung Police. He continued, "The police will also ensure the safety of the congregation while they are conducting their services, in addition to giving temporary permissions."
1. Please pray that the permit process goes swiftly and without interruption, so that this church will have official documents and be legalized in the area.
2. Pray that the congregation can forgive those who have attacked and mistreated the congregation and the pastor and that they can be a light and a blessing to the community around them.
3. Pray for God to touch the hearts of the chief of the neighborhood and locals so they will accept the church's existence and even be receptive to hearing the Gospel.