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12 Aug

Pniel Chicken Church

The Pniel chicken  church in Dutch called the Haantjes Kerk is a church located in Jalan Samanhudi No. 12 Pasar Baru, Central Jakarta. The Chicken Church is an old church which is still standing strong today in Jakarta. The official name of the  Chicken Church is a Protestant church in western Indonesia (GPIB) Pniel New Market.


Initially the name of the Chicken Church was called the New Church. This church was founded in 1856, located at Jalan Pintu Besi. For the citizens of Jakarta New Church is better known as Chicken Church. Because, at the top or the church tower there is a statue of a rooster to indicate wind direction.

According to historical records, the cost of construction of this church gathered by Rev. JFG Brumund. Since its inception, the majority of people of the church consists of the natives. Sermon was held on Sunday in Malay and Dutch. In 1914, the old church was dismantled, because it bouwvalig (is falling) and no longer safe. But fundraising run hard until the end Mr. J. Dinger gave large donations and personally committed to ensuring that government loans

The Church is known as Chicken Church because of a weather vane in the form of a cock that is installed on top of the church. The rooster were deliberately created as a reminder of the people the story of Simon Peter who denied Jesus three times before the cock crowed twice. Expected with these symbols Christians always strong in their faith and will not waver in any condition that does not deny Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Chicken Church in the beginning is just a small chapel that was built in 1856 and used for worship. Because many parts are damaged and deemed unsafe for use as places of worship, then the church was restored in 1913 so that its shape as it looks like this now that Neo Romanik with elements of Neo Baroque. The new church building was designed by a Dutch architectural named NA. Hulswit. Chicken Church began to be used officially in 1915.

Chicken Church is now able to accommodate about 2,000 congregations. In addition to the building and the interior is unchanged to the present, this church also serves as a historical museum. Chicken Church still keeps an old Bible predicted nearly a century old. Bible alike in approximately 20 cm of the hardback wood imported directly from Holland at the beginning of the construction of this church. Window glass used in Church’s Chicken was imported directly from Holland.

There is a unique story behind the statue of chicken and economic downturn ever occurred around 1928, around the New Market. The traders who sell in Pasar Baru, mostly of Chinese descent believe that the cause of bankruptcy exists for their chicken statue in the church facing directly into New Markets. Those who believe in feng shui says that the New Market when seen from above is shaped like a centipede that is one of the chicken feed. To combat that they built a statue of an eagle. They believe that the chicken scared by a hawk. The eagle sculpture was until now we can still see in the New Market.

The history of the Peniel Church began with the gospel ministry  done by  GIUZ  Evangelism  institutions who already decided Pasar Baru as a potential target missions. At that time the New Market has developed very rapidly. New Market Developments as an economic center in the 19th century was driven by trading activities undertaken by Moorish and Chinese traders. It affected the growth of peri-urban settlements inhabited by Moors, Chinese, and Malay.

The development of the New Market area as the center of the economy was also comparable to the existence of the slave as a human resources which needed  in trading activities. Slaves were targeted for  sharing the gospel by GIUZ. They were seen by GUIZ institutions as a good place for the target missions. This background was becoming the origin growth of the Church of Pniel (History of the Church GPIB Writing Team Peniel, 2006: 18-19).

The history of the Peniel Church began with the construction of the chapel (little church) at the Jl. Pintu Besi  in 1856. The church was built with financial support Rev. J. F. G. Brumund. All forms of religious rituals carried out the construction of this church. Initially the first church that occupies the chapel dominated by indigenous people who faithfully follow the Sunday service. At that time, the Sunday service sermon delivered in Malay and Dutch. But then, along with increased use of the chapel of the church as a place of worship no longer adequate capacity. The second church building made in total which erased the early form of the first church (chapel). This is due to the condition of the chapel which is becoming obsolete and no longer worthy to be used as a place of worship. This condition was further exacerbated by the increasing use of the function of the building as a shelter for elderly people moving from CAS (Carpentier Alting Stichting) located on Jl. Merdeka Timur.

Along with increasing time and intensity of the gospel, the congregation grew. Because of these conditions, it is necessary to build a church building more adequate and can accommodate a congregation in greater numbers. In the end the chapel was dismantled in 1914.

Haantjes Kerk Name also referred to as Pniel Kerk. Pniel name comes from the Word of God is quoted from Genesis 32: 30-31. Jacob named the place Peniel, for he said: “I have seen God face to  face, but saved my life. Then seen by him the sun rise, when he had passed Peniel; and Jacob limping because of his hip. The mention of a place with the name derived from the Pniel mention of Jacob. This happened because he had met God in that place. But others argue that the naming of the “chicken church”  because of pinnacles ornament  shaped  rooster  on top the church tower which function as a wind direction.

Protestant Church in Western Indonesia (GPIB) Pniel has several objects of high historical value. One of them is the old Bible that more than 20 centimeters thick and estimated age of a century. The Timber bound Bible  are only two in the world and imported from the Netherlands. Not to mention the baptismal font made of silver motif. Unfortunately, the church in the region Pasarbaru, Central Jakarta, has not received the attention of the government.

In addition to an old book, the church also has an antique clock that drives the bell to start the worship in the church. To be able to see the old clock had to climb steep stairs as high as more than 10 meters. Hours manually driven has been broken since 25 years ago. Until now, the historic clock has not been repaired because  the cost of repair is quite large and should be sent to the Netherlands. The church also has a window glass specially imported from Holland and is still maintained until now.

One more unique in this church is a symbol of chicken or hunces kereg. Making this symbol was inspired by a verse in the Bible which tells the denial of Jesus as Lord by his disciple, Peter, three times before the cock crowed. This symbol is to remind Christians to not deny God.

Until now, the renovation and maintenance of churches borne entirely by the people and donors. Simple renovation is done every year so that people are more comfortable worshiping at Passover or Christmas

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