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7/1/2024 Indonesia (International Christian Concern) — As this fall’s regional elections approach, Jeane Marie Tulung, director general of Christian community guidance at the Ministry of Religion, is reminding the church in Indonesia of its role in society.

“The Church in Indonesia should take a position that is inclusive, tolerant, and supports justice and prosperity for all groups of society, regardless of differences in ethnicity, religion, race, or class,” Tulung said. 

Roughly 82% of Indonesians are Sunni Muslims, and about 13% are Christians. In rural areas, Christians who actively share their faith face persecution from Muslims, local governments, and members of the community. The main persecutors in Indonesia are Islamic extremists who often influence moderate Muslims.

The 2024 regional elections, scheduled for November 27, will determine governors, mayors, regents, and deputies in several regions. The outcomes of these elections could profoundly influence the Christian community and the overall religious harmony in the country. 

Five hundred forty-five regions will conduct simultaneous regional elections, affecting 37 provinces, 415 districts, and 93 cities. 

According to the Ministry of Religion, everyone from village leaders to governors have obligations related to religious life in Indonesia. They include maintaining peace and fostering harmony, mutual understanding, respect, and trust among religious communities. Additionally, regents and mayors can issue building permits for places of worship. 

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