Jakarta, (Agenzia Fides) - The Catholic community has an important role to play in Indonesia for the promotion of peace and harmony and to fight against any political manipulation of religion: says to Agenzia Fides Nat Widiasari, a communication professor at "Atma Jaya" Catholic University in Jakarta.
"In some parts of the country, there is religious harmony. In other parts, religious tensions between different communities are a latent condition, due to the presence of fundamentalist Muslim leaders, who wish to polarize society on a religious basis, for political reasons or for other interests", notes the professor, indicating the risk of exploitation of faith.
"The government, in collaboration with civil society groups, tries to defuse these unhealthy trends and emphasizes religious harmony as a prerequisite for working together for good and common development", explains Widiasari.
In Indonesia, the ethnic tradition is strongly present and "the rules of tradition are more important than religious rules", notes the professor. In a country with a Muslim majority, the Catholic community, he continues, "is an important part of religious minorities, and it contrinutes to guiding the baptized on issues concerning relations between communities, suggesting ways of commitment to peace, social justice, interreligious dialogue: its contribution is precious in the country, at an individual and collective level".
Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world: out of 243 million people (87% Muslims), Christians represent about 10% of the population (7% Protestants, with 17 million, and 3% Catholics, about 7 million). (SD) (Agenzia Fides, 19/1/2018)