Indonesian Catholics pray at Gua Maria ("Mary's Cave") in Sendang Sriningsih in Yogyakarta on Thursday (13/04). (Antara Photo/Aloysius Jarot Nugroho)

Easter Celebrations Should Inspire Unity in Indonesia: Religious Affairs Minister


APRIL 14, 2017

Jakarta. Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin said Easter celebrations in Indonesia are perfect manifestations of the country's motto Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, or "unity in diversity."

Lukman said the theme for this year's official national celebration of Easter — to be hosted in Manado, North Sulawesi — "Torang Samua Ciptaan Tuhan," or "Everyone is God’s Creation," was chosen to reflect the values of the often-quoted motto.

"The founding fathers of this country clearly understood we're a pluralistic, diverse nation, that's why unity is something to be fought for," Lukman was quoted as saying on the Ministry of Religious Affairs website.

Shephard Supit, the chairman of the 2017 National Easter Celebration committee, said a series of ceremonies and events celebrating Easter will be held in Manado and Tondano from April 21-25.

More than 25,000 Christians are expected to attend, including foreign visitors.

North Sulawesi Governor Olly Donkokambey said the province is more than ready to host the Easter celebrations.

"It will be another honor for us. Last year we also hosted the National Christmas Celebration and the Maulid Nabi [Prophet Muhammad's birthday] Celebration," Olly said.