Indonesia’s Minister of Religion, Yaqut Cholil Qoumas, is trying to promote Indonesia as a country of religious tolerance and inclusion. He recently reiterated his plan to invite Pope Francis to Indonesia to greet Catholics and witness Indonesia’s diversity of religion.
“Before the pandemic, the Pope planned to come to Indonesia but canceled because of the pandemic,” Yaqut said in a press release on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, June 7, Yaqut flew to the Vatican for a conference where he met with Indonesian citizens living in the Vatican and Rome, including nuns, students, university students, and workers.
The Indonesian Embassy in the Vatican organized the conference, and the Indonesian Ambassador to the Vatican, Laurentius Amrih Jinangkung, opened the event. In addition, the char of the most prominent Islamic organization in the world, Nahdlatul Ulama Executive Board (PBNU), Yahya Cholil Staquf, was also present at the event.
During the meeting, Yaqut explained that the Ministry of Religion had declared 2022 as the Year of Tolerance in Indonesia, hoping to enhance religious tolerance among citizens.
“We want to make Indonesia a barometer of religious life that is harmonious and harmonious in diversity and whose people are tolerant and respect differences. We must respect each other among religious adherents and respect each other for those of different faiths,” he said.
Previously, Yaqut also expressed his desire to invite the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayyeb to Indonesia, saying that the sheik and Pope Francis are essential figures who continue to strive for world peace.
Together, the two signed the Document on Human Fraternity for Peace and Coexistence in Abu Dhabi in 2019.
The Minister of Religion said that one of the main points in the declaration was to invite humanity to live together in a spirit of brotherhood and to use religion as an inspiration.
“I would like to invite these two noble figures to come to Indonesia to witness that what was declared in Abu Dhabi has long been implemented in Indonesia, maybe even since Indonesia has not been established,” he said.
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