President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo sent Christmas greetings to all Christians in the country and highlighted the nation's religious diversity as a blessing on Monday (25/12). (Antara Photo/Wahyu Putro A.)

Indonesia Celebrates a Peaceful Christmas

BY :NURLIS E MEUKO

DECEMBER 25, 2017

Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo sent Christmas greetings to all Christians in the country and highlighted the nation's religious diversity as a blessing on Monday (25/12).

"For all Christians all over Indonesia, I wish you a happy Christmas celebration. Religious diversity in Indonesia is a blessing for all of us," the president tweeted.

Untuk umat Kristiani di seluruh Indonesia, saya mengucapkan selamat merayakan Natal. Keragaman umat beragama di Indonesia adalah rahmat bagi kita semua -Jkw

— Joko Widodo (@jokowi) December 25, 2017

 

The world's biggest Muslim-majority country is celebrating a peaceful Christmas, with harmony across religions. National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian told reporters on Sunday that there has not been any major security disturbances anywhere in the country.

"That means, it [the Christmas celebration] is going peacefully," he said.

On Monday morning, revelers attending Christmas morning mass at the Jakarta Cathedral were able to park at nearby Istiqlal Mosque. The cathedral also houses the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Jakarta.

A parking officer at Isqiqlal Mosque told BeritaSatu.com that it is tradition that the mosque offer its parking spaces for major religious services held by the cathedral.

Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. Idham Azis said the city is secure and safe.

"Jakarta is safe and sound. It is conducive, no significant [security] disturbances. I thank all Jakartans who also helped maintain security [...] People have high tolerance to respect differences with other religions," he said.

He added that police and Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) officers have been deployed across the country to keep the peace this Christmas.

In Jayapura, Papua, Christmas celebrations also proceeded smoothly, with some members of Muslim Student Organization (HMI) even helping police maintain fluid traffic since Sunday night.

"This is the second tine I helped out our Christian brothers who are having Christmas services. We want to make sure tolerance is upheld in this province," said Rifai, an HMI member who helped maintain orderly traffic in Jayapura.

Adriyani, a Muslim student at Cendrawasih University, echoed his friend's comment.

"There is no one forcing us to help. There is no other motivation [to participate]. It is just a Muslim wishing to help maintain peace with our Christian brothers who are having services on Christmas eve," he said.

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