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New Jersey church 'safe haven' for Indonesian immigrant
Saul Timisela (center) at Reformed Church of Highland Park, where he plans to stay until his immigration case is resolved.
March 20th, 2012
01:20 PM ET

New Jersey church 'safe haven' for Indonesian immigrant

By Mary Snow, CNN

(CNN) – A bed, space heater and a place to put his clothes are all Saul Timisela have in a room he calls home. But his new refuge inside New Jersey’s Reformed Church of Highland Park is the only thing that stands between him and deportation.

"I feel safe," says Timisela, who moved into a Sunday school classroom on March 1, when he defied an order to return to his native Indonesia. His wife has since joined him.   "All the members are so welcoming,” adds Timisela,  who says he’s prepared to stay in the church until his case is solved.

When and if that happens is a question mark. In the eyes of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Timisela is an "immigration fugitive" who was "ordered removed" from the U.S. in 2006 but failed to leave. He says he was unaware of that 2006 order. He’s now inside a church, and it’s unlikely that immigration officials would raid it.

Read the full update on Carl's story here from CNN's In America Blog.
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Church • Church and state

soundoff (111 Responses)
  1. No fool

    Someone much smarter than I said it in the late nineteenth century: Blind faith is intellectual suicide. Unfortunately, it is a lot more than that. Its products are written in blood through the ages... and in our own times!

    March 23, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
  2. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .
    Proven

    March 23, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Jesus

      -You've been proven a liar over and over again on this blog. A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested Friday morning...

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      Plus don't forget. The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!!~`

      March 23, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  3. Prayer changes things

    Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    March 23, 2012 at 5:29 am |
    • Jesus

      "Prayer changes things"

      ~`You've been proven a liar over and over again on this blog. A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested Friday morning...

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      Plus don't forget. The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!!~`

      March 23, 2012 at 10:30 am |
  4. fred

    Christian prayer has been shown to have no discernible effect towards what was prayed for.
    Christianity makes you frothy in your south like Rick Santorum. See http://santorum.com
    Christianity prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
    Christianity makes you fat.
    Christianity wears out your clothes prematurely.
    Christianity contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
    Christianity fucks up your knees and your neck and your back.
    Christianity can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
    Christianity reveals how stupid you are to the world.
    Christianity exposes your backside to pervert priests.
    Christianity makes you think doilies are exciting.
    Christianity makes you secretively flatulent and embarrassed about it.
    Christianity makes your kids avoid spending time with you.
    Christianity gives you knobbly knees.
    Christianity dulls your senses.
    Christianity makes you post really stupid shit.
    Christianity makes you hoard cats.
    Christianity makes you smell like shitty kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
    Christianity wastes time.

    March 22, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • fred

      You could be the next Martin Luther in a place called Bazaro World. He had the conviction to nail his points on the Church doors. You hide behind a good name on an anonimus site which tells me you are ashamed. Not to worry Jesus will forgive you when you ask.

      March 22, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  5. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    Proven .

    March 22, 2012 at 4:31 am |
    • Jesus

      ~You've been proven a liar over and over again on this blog. A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested Friday morning...

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      Plus don't forget. The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!!~~

      March 22, 2012 at 8:21 am |
  6. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    March 21, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • Jesus

      - You've been proven a liar over and over again on this blog. A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested Friday morning...

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      Plus don't forget. The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!! .. .. .. ... .. .

      March 21, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
  7. Prayer is not healthy for children and other thinking beings

    Evolution really changes thing.
    Gradually.
    Proven.
    Powerful.

    March 21, 2012 at 10:50 am |
  8. Bo

    Praise the Lord; it seems as though believers are finally getting the idea: “...cast not your pearls before swine... lest they turn and rend you. (Matthew 7:6)
    Of th 98 posts I counted and only four (counting this one) posts on this blog which were made by believers. For whatever enjoyment the non-believers can get out of it, they can root among themselves with what ever article may be posted. (Pun intended)

    March 21, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • Duh

      "Of th 98 posts"

      Hey moron... as I post this now it says there are only 93 comments of this thread, this will make 94. No wonder you're a christian you can't count.

      March 21, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • I'm The Best!

      How do you know who's an atheist and who isn't? Most of the posters never stated their position.

      March 21, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Bo

      Typo should have been 89
      It is easy to tell who is and isn't a believer by what is said–it isn't rocket science nor does it take Columbo investigation to learn

      March 21, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • sam

      I'm just so glad Bo can count that high.

      March 21, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  9. J.W

    They need a new article for today.

    March 21, 2012 at 10:32 am |
  10. portland tony

    CNN......Is there more? Is this guy a refugee, a crook, a legitimate asylum seeker?

    March 21, 2012 at 7:54 am |
    • William DeMuth

      Does it really matter?

      The entire nation of Syria is being decimated by their own government.

      It is tragic.

      If they all moved into a church in Irvigton and asked for asylum, I would recomend we burn the church down.

      Charity that does not begin at home is not charity. We have PLENTY of need right here.

      A ten minute walk in Irvington (I was there saturday) would scare most of you to tears.

      Irvington needs our help, not some foreigner.

      March 21, 2012 at 10:31 am |
  11. Kebos

    All illegal immigrants should move into their local church property for safe haven. Bankrupt them! 🙂

    March 21, 2012 at 6:20 am |
    • AGuest9

      Agreed.

      March 21, 2012 at 11:32 am |
  12. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer really changes things .

    March 21, 2012 at 4:20 am |
    • Jesus

      You've been proven a liar over and over again on this blog. A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested Friday morning...

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      Plus don't forget. The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!! .. .. .. ... .. .

      March 21, 2012 at 10:46 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.