06/03/2016, 10.51
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Jakarta, Church commemorates the Pancasila

by Mathias Hariyadi

President Widodo announces that from next year on June 1st will be a national holiday to mark the birth of Pancasila, the "five pillars" of the national Constitution. Archdiocese of Jakarta holds special masses for national unity. The archbishop of the capital: "This guarantees peace despite differences within society."


Jakarta (AsiaNews) - The Pancasila "is the nation's iconic platform that encourages the unity of Indonesians - despite the various differences of ethnicity, language, culture, religion - and the value of Indonesia as a country. It is thanks to the Pancasila that everyone can live in peace". With these words Msgr. Suharyo, Archbishop of Jakarta, welcomed the government's decision to make June 1, the anniversary of the drafting of the "five pillars" of the secular Constitution, national holiday.

Already in the weeks before President Joko Widodo’s announcement, the Church had launched a special prayer campaign among all Indonesian faithful, to strengthen national unity. The program, called "How to apply the Pancasila", will last for five years. A "white and red rosary" was distributed and prayed in all parishes, in homage to the colors of the flag.

On June 1st thousands of faithful attended the Mass in the Jakarta Cathedral. Fr. Harry Sulistyo, head of the Archdiocese communications office said that 65 parishes of the district held Masses to pray for national unity.

Speaking to the faithful gathered in the church, Msgr. Suharyo urged the community to return to the historical and philosophical-political reasoning that led to the birth of the nation on August 17, 1945 according to the principles of Pancasila. These five pillars are: belief in one God; justice and human civilization; unity of Indonesia; democracy guided by wisdom; social justice. They are included as a preamble to the Constitution, forcefully desired by the first president Sukarno.

June1st was made a national holiday in the 1970s at the behest of Suharto (1967-1998), who wanted to boost the patriotic spirit of the younger generation. The children celebrated the day at school, with the hoisting of the flag and the singing of the national anthem "Indonesia Raya" (Great Indonesia). After more than 30 years, Joko Widodo announced that from 2017 the date will again be celebrated. According to many analysts, this choice reveals the will of the President to latch on to the figure of Sukarno, the first president and "creator" of Pancasila.

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