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Worshippers weep as Indonesian city tears down church

Members of the congregation of Batak Christian Protestant Church (HKBP) cry as an excavator demolishes their church in Bekasi, on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia on March 21, 2013.
Members of the congregation of Batak Christian Protestant Church (HKBP) cry as an excavator demolishes their church in Bekasi, on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia on March 21, 2013.Palti Panjaitan / Reuters
An Indonesian civilian policeman takes photographs while an excavator demolishes an under-construction building of the Taman Sari Batak Christian Protestant Church in Bekasi on March 21, 2013.Adek Berry / AFP - Getty Images
Police watch while an excavator demolishes the church building on March 21, 2013.Adek Berry / AFP - Getty Images

Agence France-Presse reports — An Indonesian city government demolished a church in front of its weeping congregation on Thursday, as Muslim protesters egged on workers and branded the Christians "infidels." 

The local government had ordered the demolition of the church for being built, in October 2012, without a legal permit.

However the congregation said the permit was repeatedly and unfairly rejected after they had spent 13 years worshipping at the site unopposed in a temporary shelter. Read the full story.

A Muslim man gestures during a protest against the Taman Sari Batak Christian Protestant Church on March 21, 2013. Around 100 Christians held a counter rally to demand the government halt the demolition of their church.Adek Berry / AFP - Getty Images
Members of the congregation of Batak Christian Protestant Church sit near the ruins of their church after an excavator demolished it on March 21, 2013.Enny Nuraheni / Reuters