12/13/2019, 20.08
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Religious harmony improves in Indonesia

Religious Affairs Ministry released survey data indicating that the best provinces are Christian majority West Papua and East Nusa Tenggara. The worse is Aceh, a "special territory" on Sumatra ruled by Sharia. Jakarta Metro Police announced a security plan for Christmas and New Year celebrations.

Jakarta (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Religious harmony is improving in Indonesia, this according to the Ministry of Religious Affairs. The country gained some points on religious harmony index, going from 70. points 9 in 2018 to 73.83 this year.

Fachrul Razi, Indonesia’s new Religious Affairs Minister, noted that in the past five years, the average standing has always been above 70 out of 100, which is considered “high.”

“The figure has increased compared with last year, but it is still low compared with 2015, when it reached 75.3,” Fachrul said.

The survey was carried out on 16-19 May and 18-24 June this year with a total 13,600 respondents in 34 provinces. The survey’s margin of error is 4.6 per cent.

The index measures three dimensions, namely tolerance, equality and cooperation among religious communities. According to the survey, the cooperation dimension scored highest with 75.40 points, followed by tolerance at 72.37, and equality at 73.72.

The index looks at different factors: family education, implementation of local wisdom, household income, religious heterogeneity and the role of the Ministry.

Results show that some provinces ranked below average on religious harmony index. They are: East Java (73.7), East Kalimantan (73.6), Gorontalo (73.2), Bangka Belitung Islands (73.1), Lampung (73.1), Riau Island (72.8), North Maluku (72.7), South Kalimantan (72.5), South Sumatra (72.4), Bengkulu (71.8), Jakarta (71.3), Jambi (70.7), West Nusa Tenggara (70.4), Riau (69.3), Banten (68.9), West Java (68.5), West Sumatra (64.4), and the lowest, Sharia-ruled Aceh (60.2).

The best scores were recorded in: West Papua (82.1); East Nusa Tenggara (81.1); Bali (80.1); North Sulawesi (79.9), Maluku (79.4), Papua (79.0), North Kalimantan (78.0), Central Kalimantan (77.8), West Kalimantan (76.7), North Sumatra (76.3), South Sulawesi (75.7), Central Sulawesi (75.0), Central Java (74.6), DI Yogyakarta (74.2), West Sulawesi (74.1), and Southeast Sulawesi (73.9).

West Papua and East Nusa Tenggara have Christian majorities, 58.40 and 95.88 per cent, respectively (7.70 and 60.14 per cent Catholic).

Acceptance of minority religious festivities is the main criterion for social cohesion and harmony in the world’s most populous Muslim nation. One test is coming up soon: Christmas.

Jakarta Metro Police announced today that it will deploy 10,000 agents to ensure that Christmas and New Year celebrations go off without a hitch with dozens of guard posts set up around the capital.

Senior Commander Yusri Yunus noted that police will work with the Armed Forces and city authorities to improve security. A meeting will be held on 23 December to select the key points to protect.

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