Antara, Jakarta – Coordinating Minister of Political, Legal, and Human Rights Mahfud MD reiterated the Indonesian government's resolve to ensure equal rights and grant equal protection for religious denominations and organizations.
"Indonesia protects all religions in the country, as it does not recognize only a single religion that completely dictates activities in the country," the coordinating minister said during his visit to the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Tegalsari Sub-district, here, on Saturday.
Indonesia is not a secular state that completely separates religion from the state, he noted.
"Indonesia is neither a religious nor a secular state, but we are a Pancasilaist state that protects residents belonging to religious denominations," he remarked.
Mahfud remarked that Indonesian founders firmly believe that all religions preach kindness for humankind.
"We may observe differences in religious rituals and organizations, but in the end, all religions teach kindness. Indonesia is not a country that sanctions only a single religion. Hence, we must provide equal protection to all religions and their adherents," the coordinating minister stated.
As a Pancasilaist country, with belief in God as one of its core tenets, the government is obliged to protect religious activities and adherents in Indonesia, Mahfud noted.
"Indonesia does not recognize only a single religious denomination, and the Pancasila principle of 'Belief in the Almighty God' is actualized by the government's determination to protect all religious faiths," he stated.
Earlier, Mahfud MD had visited the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Indonesian Christian Church (GKI) at Diponegoro Road, Surabaya, to observe Christmas activities in the city.
East Java Regional Police Chief Inspector General Nico Afinta, Brawijaya/V Regional Military Command Chief Major General Nurcahyanto, and East Java Province acting Regional Secretary Heru Tjahjono also joined the coordinating minister's visit to Surabaya churches.