The Jakarta Post
Eighty-seven religious clerics from all over Papua held on Thursday a joint prayer, after which they began a 30-hour fast in order to ensure a peaceful atmosphere in the province for the upcoming regional elections.
The religious leaders gathered at Sahid Hotel to pray and begin to fast, starting from noon on Thursday until 6 p.m. local time the next day, when they will break fast together.
“Muslim, Christian, Catholic, Hindu and Buddhist clerics will pray and fast for 30 hours,” said Papua Interfaith Communication Forum (FKUB) chairman and Catholic priest Lipiyus Biniluk.
He said this event was the first one to be held in Papua that was aimed at ensuring peace during the upcoming regional elections. Papuan residents are also encouraged to perform their prayers, he added.
“We, religious clerics, have spared time and energy to ask for God’s intervention to ensure a peaceful Papua election,”Lipiyus said.
Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar, who attended the opening of the interfaith prayer session said that clerics played an important role in creating a safe and comfortable atmosphere prior to and during the election period.
“We need to make an effort to create the peaceful atmosphere we desire. We cannot let ourselves be distracted by temporary political interests,” he said.
Aside from the Papua gubernatorial election, seven regencies will hold elections to appoint regional heads. They include Biak, Mimika and Jayawijaya. (nmn/ebf)