A Garuda Pancasila — Indonesia's official state symbol — is being painted at the Jakarta Cathedral in preparation for Christmas on Saturday (23/12). (Antara Photo/Sigid Kurniawan)

Indonesian Bishops Firmly Against Trump's Jerusalem Move


DECEMBER 26, 2017

Jakarta. A group of Indonesian bishops, citing Pope Francis's call for "peace for Jerusalem" in his traditional Christmas Day message, said on Monday (25/12) they are staunchly against US President Donald Trump's announcement to recognize the contested holy city as Israel's capital.

Trump's sudden reversal of nearly seven decades of American policy on the status of Jerusalem sparked condemnation from Pope Francis, who called for respect for Jerusalem's "status quo."

"The Vatican explicitly disagrees with Trump, and so do we," Ignatius Suharyo, the Archbishop of Jakarta and the chairman of the Indonesian Bishops Conference, said. "Our stance is clear and centralized."

The Vatican backs a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Ignatius, referring to Pope Francis's Urbi et Orbi speech on Christmas Day, said the Jerusalem issue should be settled through diplomatic efforts by Israel and Palestine with other countries acting only as "facilitators."

"The facilitation is to ensure that negotiations move forward or get closer to a solution," Ignatius said.

Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority country, has been a strong supporter of Palestinian independence. Since Trump's Jerusalem declaration on Dec. 6, a number of pro-Palestine rallies have been held on the streets of its capital Jakarta.