Chicken church – Bukit Rhema Gereja Ayam


Finally! The big Day of the chickenchurch was there. Kevin read already a few years ago an article about a mysterious church with the shape of a chicken in the middle of the jungle of Java – Indonesia. The church was started to build in 1988. With almost no money and lot’t of help of local people a man with a vision could realize his project of a church for every kind of believs. In this place, muslims, buddists, christians prayed next to each other. Until the year 2000 the building was even used as a therapie centrum for everybody who needed help. Drug addicts came here as well as people with mental problems to get new energy and hope on this mystical place. After this the church stood empty in the middle of the jungle for years.

Story that I read 2 years ago

Normally Kevin was not interested in churches and praying, but this information fascinated him so much, he couldn’t get it out of his head. Maybe it was the idea of united believing in good instead of separating in religions, maybe it was the idea that everybody who needed it could get new energy, maybe just the idea of the building in the middle of nowhere with the funny chicken shape or simply just the fact that all of this so unrealistic and seems to be so unreachable as it’s at the other side of the world. But this unique combinations were just worth it to be seen.


We started from our hostel in Yogyakarta on a scooter at 6 am for the 1,5 h ride on a busy street with a crazy mix of trucks, cars, scooters and even lot’s of cyclers. Most of this people on the road went to the famous temple Budurbudur and probably never heard about the real attraction in the area. The fresh morning breeze let us forget all the noise and dirty smog around us and we were just happy and excited for our highlight. After we passed by the temple there was no traffic anymore and the roads got worse. When we arrived in a small town next to the chicken church we could already feel the peaceful atmosphere. It felt like no tourist ever passed by here even if the big famous temple is just a few kilometer away.

Suddenly we stood in front of a guy who wanted us to leave the scooter on a payed parking spot in the middle of the jungle. He explained us that we have to park the scooter here for our own safety as the further road is too dangerous to drive for us. In the moment a local just passed by on the road with his scooter. To dangerous? Haha! This is totally not what we expected. We wanted to see the chicken church because it’s NOT and tourist attraction and we DON’t have to pay for every stupid thing. After a short discussion we turned around and drove away. After 500 m we took a small road in the jungle and parked the scooter next to a small house. When we stepped off, we realized that we could already see the head of the chicken church behind the jungle. We arrived!


After a 5 minutes jungle trek we stood in front of this incredible building. It was exactly as impressive as I expected but also totally renovated. A investor bought it and wants to make an tourist attraction out of this. Therefore they even added some balconys on the tail of the chicken for a café. When we wanted to enter the inside of the church DSCF7589somebody asked for entrance tickets. What? Come on! That’s really not the meaning behind this building! We realized that we just skipped the ticket counter with our jungle trek and made up a story that we forgot the tickets in the scooter. They finally believed us and we could enter the chicken. After we passes by the entrance later and saw the tourist discrimination we were even happier not to support this thing with paying the entrance fee. Tourist should really pay double the price than locals. In Europe this would be unbelievable.

The architecture with the light flooded cross on the roof and the round windows on the sides was incredible. Especially if you make yourself clear that you stand in a building with the shape of a chicken in the jungle of Java, build by local people with natural building material. In the basement where some separated and hidden praying rooms. A further highlight was going up to the top in the head of the chicken. Everywhere in the head we could see paintings on the wall.

They must be from the time when it was still used as a therapy centrum. Finally we entered the top of the head and enjoyed the incredible few. What a feeling! My dream came true and even if the church starts to become a tourist attraction it was still a mysterious place. I also did what I never expected to do here. I went down in one of the praying rooms and just let my thought go in this positive vibe. Before we headed back we just stood in front of the chicken for a couple of minutes and stared on it. Just wow!

Back at the scooter we saw a old guy sitting in front of his house. His didn’t weared a shirt and we could see his bones trough the skin. He just sit on the ground and smoked a big self made cigarette. He almost didn’t had any teeth in his mouth and gave us a big smile when he realized us. We decided to give him some money as a parking fee for our scooter.

Honestly, after I saw the chicken church I could not imagine a better place to get some positive energy and believing in the good for every kind of problems.