ASIA/INDONESIA - To contribute to coexistence: Archbishop of Jakarta meets the leader of Parliament

Monday, 9 October 2017 politics   religion   christianity   religious minorities   human rights   justice   peace   dialogue  

Jakarta (Agenzia Fides) - To contribute to social and religious coexistence and to work together - politics and religious communities - for brotherhood among the different people and components of Indonesian pluralist society: this is the theme of the recent meeting between the Archbishop of Jakarta, Ignazio Suharyo, and Zulkifli Hasan, President of the People's Consultative Assembly, which is the legislative branch in Indonesia's political system.
As Fides learns, Zulkifli Hasan said: "Beyond every difference, our Indonesian flag, with its red and white colors, remains the same: Archbishop Suharyo and I agreed in the desire and task of fixing our red and white drapery which is currently in danger of being torn because of mutual suspicion and prejudice". The physiological differences in Indonesian society can be solved, he added, "in the original Indonesian manner, made of hospitality, encounter and dialogue".
Archbishop Suharyo thanked Zulkifli Hasan and agreed on the fact that union among the various components of the nation is important and remains crucial for the country's progress and development: "We must keep our communion. The Indonesian army and police must also work in
solidarity for our Red and White flag, as well as all other social components", said the Archbishop, reiterating "the commitment to equality and prosperity for all".
Catholic priest Fr. Benny Susetyo, Special presidential Committee Adviser
for the development of the Pancasila, told Fides that "the meeting was important to reiterate the common work for brotherhood and coexistence. The President of the Assembly has the primary task of holding contacts with all 'the children of the nation', that is, with all communities and parts of society: this is part of Pancasila's implementation". "There are no other valid interpretations of this encounter", he remarked to Fides, dismissing all other speculation.
The Catholic Church in Indonesia has always distinguished itself for the protection of the Pancasila, especially today, at a time when the challenge of Islamic radicalism tries to create confusion and polarize society. Recently, some radical Islamic groups have tried to discredit Indonesian Christians by stating that, given the doctrine on the Trinity, these do not respect the first of the five principles of the Pancasila ("faith in the one God") and would instead be "polytheists".
The accusation was dismissively denied as "fake and instrumental" by Indonesian Christian leaders.
About 87% of the 258 million Indonesian citizens identify themselves as Muslims (mainly Sunni, with Shiite minorities). Protestant Christians are about 7%, Catholics are about 3%, Hindus less than 2%. (PA-PP) (Agenzia Fides, 9/10/2017)


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