Authorities do not allow Christian couple to bury their child in local cemetery
Early in the morning on August 6th, a two-month-old baby girl named Nabila Adriana Karenina passed away at a hospital in Gresik, East Java, Indonesia. She suffered from dehydration due to severe diarrhoea.
When the baby initially fell ill, her parents, who are both Christians, could secure treatment at a local hospital despite not being able to pay for the care. However, on August 2nd, the baby fell ill for a second time. This time, her local hospital refused care, and she was sent to a larger regional hospital. Her parents were forced to use their motorbike registration as collateral to get treatment for their daughter.
The baby was in critical condition despite receiving hospital treatment, and medical staff could not save her. After the baby died, her parents tried to secure a burial plot in the Menganti village cemetery, their local cemetery.
However, local authorities refused to allow the parents to bury their baby in this cemetery because it is considered “waqf” land, a Muslim place only intended for use by local residents and for religious purposes. Since the parents are Christians, their child could not be buried in the land.
The Head of Menganti Sub-district, Sujarto, explained that he overcame the problem by proposing that the baby’s body be buried in the Christian cemetery complex.
The parents could not protest this decision and buried their baby in a designated Christian cemetery some ways away from their local village. While the family is grateful that they could secure a final resting place for their child, the discrimination of Christians in Indonesia was evident in this case.