...(if) there is a land mafia, I will not hesitate, I will eradicate them.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning (ATR) Minister Hadi Tjahjanto has asked central and regional government officials to oversee the issuance of land certification for places of worship without discrimination.

"Thus, all religious community can carry out their worship solemnly without interruption because they have had legal certainty over their land rights," he explained in a statement released on Friday.

He made the remarks during the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the chairperson of the Central Board of the Seventh-day Adventist Church (GMAHK) in Indonesia, Pastor Sugih Sitorus, on Thursday (January 19, 2023).

The MoU was entitled “Implementation of Land Registration as well as Assistance in the Prevention and Handling of Land Problems of the Assets of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Indonesia.”

The minister said that the inking of the MoU was a follow-up to a meeting between the representatives of the ATR Ministry and the GMAHK on October 25, 2022, at the ministry’s headquarters.

The MoU reflects the commitment of the ministry to protecting the land rights of worship places and assets belonging to all religious communities in Indonesia.

"The ATR Ministry has been tasked with completing the (land) certification program through Complete Systematic Land Registration (PTSL), which has reached 101.1 million registered lands as of today," Tjahjanto informed.

He emphasized that the inking of the MoU was not only a ceremonial event, but a part of the concrete implementation of PTSL.

With the help of all stakeholders, he said he believed that land issues for places of worship will be resolved in 2024.

"Hence, if someone interferes (with the completion of the PTSL program), (if) there is a land mafia, I will not hesitate, I will eradicate them," he added.

Meanwhile, Pastor Sitorus expressed his gratitude over the signing of the MoU.

"We (the GMAHK congregations) believe that you (Minister Tjahjanto) are not only willing to help us but also the entire Indonesian people... I am glad Mr. Minister said that before 2024, the land problems will be resolved," he added.

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Translator: Maria Prayudhia, Uyu Liman
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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