The Jakarta Post
Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture Puan Maharani attended and witnessed the declaration of peace among interfaith youth groups in the regency as part of the series of visits to Merauke regency in Papua.
The event was held at the Hiad Sai Trikora sports venue.
The minister said diversity in Indonesia is a blessing from the Almighty.
At the event, five youngsters, representing different faiths, read out the peace declaration in front of the minister. Also at the event were Health Minister Nila F. Moeloek; Women Empowerment and Children Protection Minister Yohana Yambisey; head of National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Willem Rampangilei; Army Special Forces Commander Matsuni and Merauke regent Fredericus Gebze. The minister, accompanied by the Merauke regent, also stood on the stage to witness the signing of the declaration.
The declaration and signing were part of the Gerakan Pemuda Membaca Kitab Suci Lintas Agama (Interfaith Youths Reciting Holy Books Movement) event that was initiated by the Youth and Sports Ministry.
“My appreciation goes to everyone who has made this movement a success. Hopefully, this event and others, like this, can strengthen the unity of the nation,” she said, adding that this event perfectly coincided with Youth Pledge Day celebrations.
She reminded the audience that Indonesia is home to more than 714 ethnic groups, who speak 1,100 different languages and dialects, on more than 17,000 islands. Indonesia is also home to people who profess to the world’s major religions -- Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism.
“We are not alike, but we work together to build Indonesia as our home, so that the country and the nation is prosperous, advanced and highly cultured,” she added.
A recital of several verses from different Holy Books was also held at the event. The minister said this can help build trust between people of different faiths, help them understand each other more and work together based on Pancasila and the country’s motto of Unity in Diversity.
“Let’s understand and teach those closest to us, our family, that our diversity is a blessing from God given to us,” she said.
The minister also quizzed participants about Pancasila, with the two lucky winners getting laptop. They were Maria Magdalena, a student at Musamus State University and Aluya Mustofa, a student at SMAN 2 Merauke.
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