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Jakarta Post

Mixed reaction to reopening of places of worship

  • Marchio Irfan Gorbiano

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, June 3 2020   /  10:30 am

The government’s plan to gradually reopen places of worship has drawn mixed responses from religious groups and health experts, many of whom insist that any possible easing of restrictions anywhere should be contingent on low risk of transmission.For Muslim-majority Indonesia, where faith plays a large role in society, the pandemic has shuttered various mosques, temples and churches and prevented people from holding mass prayers.However, the debate has managed to open a can of worms that pits public health against the right to practice religious beliefs.Robikin Emhas, chairman of the country’s largest grassroots Muslim organization, Nahdlatul Ulama, said the current circumstances called for a thorough assessment of the options and should take various factors into account, including the rate of infection and the preparedness of the national healthcare system.“As an exit strategy for...