JABARTODAY.COM-JAKARTA. Minister of Religious Affairs, Yaqut Cholil Qoumas, supports the revocation of the recommendation from the Interfaith Harmony Forum (FKUB) as a requirement for establishing places of worship. He believes that this step will facilitate the establishment of places of worship and prevent incidents of worship disruption. During a hearing with the Indonesian Parliament on Monday (5/6/2023), the Minister proposed the idea of streamlining the permits for establishing places of worship.
Previously, the establishment of places of worship required recommendations from multiple agencies. The Minister stated that they are removing one recommendation, namely from the FKUB, so that the recommendation from the Ministry of Religious Affairs (Kemenag) alone would be sufficient. This proposal will be included in a presidential regulation (Perpres).
Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas expressed concern over the continued resistance against places of worship in Indonesia, citing it as evidence of ongoing intolerance in the country. Interestingly, the growth rate of Christian churches has been significant compared to mosques. This trend is observed not only in areas with a Christian majority but also in predominantly Muslim regions. Data from 2019 to 2021 indicates a growth in the number of places of worship.
The Chairman of the Communion of Churches in Indonesia (PGI), Reverend Gumar Gultom, acknowledged the growth in the number of churches. He attributed this growth to demographic shifts and high population mobility, as well as the diverse denominations and church synods. [ruz]