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Jakarta Post

Bandung Mayor attends Christmas service, apologizes for intolerance

  • Arya Dipa

    The Jakarta Post

Bandung   /   Sat, December 24, 2016   /  05:24 pm
Bandung Mayor attends Christmas service, apologizes for intolerance Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil delivers his speech at a Christmas celebration at the Sasana Budaya Ganesa building in Bandung on Friday night. (Courtesy of Bandung Information and Communication Agency/-)

Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil attended a Christmas celebration at Sasana Budaya Ganesa on Friday night, asking for forgiveness for the past service that was disrupted by conservative Muslims.

“Whatever has happened in Bandung, as a leader, I ask for forgiveness for the disruption of the past KKR,” he said to about 3,000 members of the congregation led by Rev. Stephen Tong.

Ridwan referred to the Spiritual Awakening Service (KKR) on Dec. 6 that was dispersed by supporters of two groups, namely Pembela Ahlu Sunnah (PAS) and Dewan Da’wah Islamiyah Indonesia (DDII).

(Read also: Religious services do not require permits: Bandung mayor)

He admitted that his approval of a permit for the Christmas service would create tensions, but he said he had to be fair.

“I always remember my mother’s message, asking me to be a fair leader,” he said.

He said his administration along with religious organizations had come to an agreement on religious freedom.

“I have circulated the letter across Bandung. So please [report to us], if [you] find any disturbances,” he told the congregation.

He added that his administration had established a task force on tolerance.

Besides Ridwan, West Java Police chief Insp. Gen. Anton Charliyan and West Java Military Commander Maj. Gen. Muhammad Herindra also attended the Christmas celebrations and delivered speeches. (jun).

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