Jokowi praises interfaith village during religion-heavy Central Java visit
The Jakarta Post
On the final day of his three-day work trip in Central Java, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo visited on Saturday a religiously pluralistic village to emphasize the government's campaign of respecting and maintaining diversity throughout the country.
The decision to stop at Kepencar village in Wonosobo regency was made last minute by the President in an apparent move to balance his Islamic-leaning trip after he spent the first two days of his tour visiting four Nahdlatul Ulama Islamic boarding schools in three regencies.
Kepencar represents the typical pluralistic village as its residents adhere to various religions. It has two big and 13 small mosques, one church, one Buddhist temple, or vihara, and all religious followers living in the village have been living peacefully for decades.
The President distributed packages of basic food to 5,473 people and 1,449 households in the relatively poor village.
Central Java has been a stronghold for Jokowi’s supporters as the President garnered 12 million votes out of the province’s 18 million voters in the 2014 presidential elections.
“Indonesia is very diverse and we have to keep up the unity of the country by respecting diversity,” Jokowi told Kepencar’s residents.
Jokowi further said that Indonesia was a big country with 17,000 islands, and it also had a total of 516 regencies and 34 provinces, as well as 714 different tribes that have been living peacefully for decades. (dmr)
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