M Julnis Firmansyah, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo stated that 96 percent of Indonesian people have faith in God. He made the statement during his speech at the national mass zikr for the country's 78th independence day in the courtyard of Jakarta Merdeka Palace on Tuesday evening, August 1, 2023.
A number of Onward Cabinet ministers and hundreds of students from various Islamic boarding schools attended the event.
"I read this in a news article, which is based on an international survey. This survey is not conducted by Indonesians but by international citizens. I read that 96 percent of Indonesian people believe in God," the President said.
He mentioned that it is the highest figure in the world, and is above the average for European, American, and even Middle Eastern countries. For example, only 75 percent of Turkish people are believers.
"This has become one of our strong assets as a nation because of our belief in Allah subhanahu wataala. It is fundamental for humans to have good morals and values and the strength to face various existing problems," Jokowi added.
In the future, he went on, Indonesians would face more complex challenges and that believing in God will serve as a compass.
By having faith in God, Jokowi believed that humans will maintain good relations with God and help each other.
Based on Tempo's exploration, President Jokowi's claim is similar to the results of a study conducted by Pew Research Center in 2019 by interviewing 38,426 people in 34 countries. The research found that 96 percent of people consider religion as an essential aspect of life, while the rest two percent have contrasting opinions. This figure is similar to the Philippines and Kenya at 95 percent.