The Jakarta Post
The Indonesian Communion of Churches (PGI) has said it will not participate in a Christmas celebration planned by Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan at the National Monument (Monas) in January 2018.
Instead, the PGI has chosen to celebrate the occasion indoors.
“We decided to celebrate Christmas at an indoor venue instead of at the Monas because we didn’t want to cause a disruption at the monument, which is a neutral venue,” the chairman of PGI's Jakarta chapter, Manuel Raintung, said during a press conference on Friday.
Manuel said PGI Jakarta gave suggestions to the governor last Monday on several indoor venues in which the celebration could be held, including JIExpo Kemayoran and Mega Glodok Kemayoran Mall in Central Jakarta.
“We appreciated the positive initiative [of the governor]; however, we needed to consider that not every religion celebrates their religious holiday openly,” he said, adding that celebrating Christmas outdoors in Jakarta was unusual.
Separately, PGI spokesperson Jeirry Sumampow said PGI would invite the governor to attend the PGI Christmas celebration in January. “I haven’t received any information about the exact date and location yet, but we will invite them [Anies and Deputy Governor Sandiaga Uno] to the event regardless,” he said.
Anies announced earlier this month that the city administration would hold a Christmas celebration at the Monas, where several Islamic organizations have held events in the past, including a reunion event of last year's 212 rally that saw Muslims demand for the prosecution of former Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama for blasphemy. (dpk)