Religious Affairs Minister clarifies controversial statement
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Religious Foreign Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas issued a written statement on Tuesday insisting that the ministry he heads represents all religions and does not exclusively serve a religious organization.
His clarification came after public outcry over Yaqut’s statement at an internal virtual event hosted by one of Indonesia’s largest Islamic organizations, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), was leaked to the public.
His controversial statement that has leaked online initially implies that the existence of the ministry is an exclusive gift to the organization.
“The Ministry of Religious Affairs belongs to all religions and is obligated to facilitate all religions,” Yaqut said on October 26.
However, this time the minister said the Ministry of Religious Affairs was established to facilitate the interests of religious communities. He said that Indonesia is not a religious state or a secular country but based on the 5 state ideologies (Pancasila), its citizens strongly uphold religious values.
He claims that proof of this can be seen in the claim that the ministry provides to all religions and religious mass organizations in Indonesia.
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