The Jakarta Post
Former US president Barack Obama (center) and his family arrive at the Borobudur Temple in Magelang on June 28. (STR / AFP/File)
Speaking in front of 9,000 people from 55 countries at the 4th Indonesian Diaspora Congress in Jakarta on Saturday, former US president Barack Obama highlighted the issue of tolerance in Indonesia.
He mentioned his recent visit to the temples of Borobudur and Prambanan, noting that the two sites reflected the archipelago’s pluralism.
“I saw Borobudur Temple, a Buddhist temple in a [predominantly] Muslim country, Prambanan Temple, a Hindu temple that is being preserved in a [predominantly] Muslim country, as well as a traditional shadow puppet play and the Ramayana story. Tolerance should be the spirit of Indonesia, and it is also reflected in church and mosque buildings that are located right next to each other,” said Obama.
Read also: Yogyakarta becoming more intolerant: Study
He also talked about his recent visit to Bali and Yogyakarta and called Indonesia a “part of myself.”
With his visit to Indonesia, the former US president made good on a promise from the past.
“I told President Jokowi, the first Asian country that I’m going to visit after my presidency is Indonesia; that’s because I believe in the future of this country,” Obama said. (kes)