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26 Dec, 2015

Jakarta’s Archbishop expresses gratitude for peaceful Christmas services

Jakarta (ANTARA News) 25 December 2015 – – Jakartas Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo expressed gratitude to all law enforcers and the government for their efforts to ensure that the Christmas services were held smoothly and peacefully.

“Allow me to express gratitude to all government officials, the president, the vice president, the National Police chief, the commander of the Indonesian Defense Forces, commanders of the regional military, the regional police chiefs and their ranks and file for their efforts to provide guards, so that the church services ran peacefully,” the archbishop informed the press after holding the pontifical church service on Friday.

Jakarta's Archbishop expresses gratitude for peaceful Christmas services

Photo document of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) with Mgr. Ignatius Suharyo (left) at KWI office, Jakarta. (ANTARA/Ismar Patrizki)

He affirmed that the Christmas celebrations would not be complete without inculcating the message of “Living Together with the Family of Allah.”

According to Jakarta Police Chief Insp. Gen. Tito Karnavian, the mass services being held peacefully were a testament to the existing religious tolerance. He said harmony and religious tolerance have continued to improve in Jakarta.

The theme will also be imbibed during the national christmas celebrations, which will be held in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara, on December 28.

“President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) is also expected to attend the national celebrations,” he affirmed.

The Jakarta Cathedral held three services at 5 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 10 p.m. local time on Christmas Eve and five services on Christmas Day.

In the meantime, on the occasion of Christmas Day, Vice President Jusuf M. Kalla, here on Friday, conveyed Christmas greetings to Indonesian Christians.

“I, Jusuf Kalla, the vice president of the Republic of Indonesia, wish Merry Christmas to every Christian and Happy New Year 2016 to every Indonesian,” Kalla told the media.

He hoped the welfare of the Indonesian people would improve in the year ahead as the countrys economy continues to grow.

Cooperation among Indonesians is necessary to implement development programs and improve public welfare. “Hopefully, in the years ahead, Indonesia would get much better. We progress together,” he affirmed.

Kalla said security in Indonesia in late 2015 had been maintained well by the security personnel and local civilians. He convinced the domestic and international community to not harbor worries over news of terrorist threats in the country.

“For Christmas, all churches are being guarded by the police and community. Muslim youth organizations also guard them every year, right?” he added.

Terrorist threats not only exist in Indonesia but also in American and European countries, he added.