JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com - President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo visited some churches in the Indonesian city of Bogor, West Java on Sunday, Dec. 25, to greet the Christians who were celebrating the 2022 Christmas.
According to a press release, he visited the Bogor City Zebaoth Congregations of Western Indonesian Protestant Church (GPIB) at around 09:10 a.m. local time. He was accompanied by Bogor Mayor Bima Arya.
"I see that you are very happy to welcome Christmas this year," the president said to the congregations.
He expected that all Christians can celebrate this Christmas peacefully and happily in Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority country.
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“We should continue to maintain relations with each other, strengthen brotherhood, and bolster harmony between us," he said.
Furthermore, he continued his visit to the Bogor Cathedral Church.
"Let's keep maintaining our brotherhood together and strengthening our harmony for the advancement of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia. Merry Christmas, may God bless us all," Jokowi told the Bogor Cathedral Church congregations.
President Jokowi's visit to the Christmas worship was appreciated by the Head of the Bogor Cathedral Church Priest Paulus Haruno.
The priest called it a special gift for the attending Christians.
"It is really a surprise and an extraordinary gift because there was no prior notification (of the visit). (The visit of) President Jokowi, who was accompanied by Mayor Bima Arya, adds to the joy of Christmas celebration (in this church) this year," he said.
Also read: Churches Could Increase Congregation Capacity for Christmas: Indonesia Ministry
Haruno has also hoped that the visit can increase the spirit of religious tolerance in Indonesia.
"Hopefully, in a situation full of tolerance, all people are given the right to practice their freedom of religion. It should be continued to be improved in this beloved country," he added.
The theme for the 2022 Christmas celebrations in Indonesia is “Their Return to Their Country by Another Way," which means that diversity is a gift from God that one must be grateful for, cared for, and bolstered continually.
The Religious Affairs Ministry had allowed the offline Christmas celebration in churches to be attended by 100 percent of the church's capacity.Dapatkan update berita pilihan dan breaking news setiap hari dari Kompas.com. Mari bergabung di Grup Telegram "Kompas.com News Update", caranya klik link https://t.me/kompascomupdate, kemudian join. Anda harus install aplikasi Telegram terlebih dulu di ponsel.