This abandoned structure is known to the locals as Geraja Ayam – meaning Chicken Church – and each year it attracts hundreds of curious tourists and photographers on the hills of Magelang. According to the person who built it – Daniel Alamsjah, the building is neither a chicken nor a church.
He’s saying that he was working in Jakarta when he received a message from God, who told him to build a “prayer house” in the shape of a pigeon. “People probably thought that because of my religion I’m building a church. But, it’s not a church. I’ve built a house of prayers… a place where people who believe in God can come and pray.”
In 1989 he was in the Magelang area, the place where his wife’s family lives and he saw the perfect spot that he dreamt about. “I prayed there all night and I had a revelation that showed me that I must build there the house of prayer.”
A year later the land owners sold him a 3000 sqm area on the Rhema Hill for 2 million rupees (172 USD) – sum that he paid in four years.
In present time, people of different religious beliefs – including Buddhists, Muslims or Christians travel so they can pray. The house of prayer closed its doors in 2000 because of high maintenance costs.