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Religion and Philosophy in Indonesia

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Islam Mosque

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Christian Church

The development of religious life in Repelita VI is directed towards the stabilization of a harmonious religious life as reflected by the enhancement of faith and devotion to the One and Only God, improvement of the believers participation in development through education in the family and expansion of religious means and infrastructures.

The main policy of religious development in Repelita VI, covers promotion in the quality of faith and devotion to the One and Only God among religious followers in an effort to strengthen the national unity, encourage their participation in development, increase the practice of religious life both in private and in social life and improve the Haj-pilgrimage services and boost religious education at all school levels.

Based on those policies, the Government underlines 7 (seven) main programs namely : the improvement of religious information and guidance, means for a religious life, better haj-pilgrimage services, religious education for primary schools, secondary schools and higher education, religious institutions and workers.

Beside those main programs, the Government also launched six supporting programs namely: promotion of the younger generation, the role of women in religious research education and training and religious law counseling.

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Religious information and guidance is directed towards the improvement of faith and devotion to the One and Only God, a harmonious life of the believers and their role, expansion of religious teachings to strengthen the spiritual, moral and ethical basis to develop and maintain the national union and unity.

Religious guidance and counseling are provided by the Government, and by religious institutions and all people through various mass-media and fora.

These activities are supported by the distribution of 787,700 copies of religious information material and 13,000 copies of booklets on religious teachings.

In the framework of a harmonious religious life, the Government conducts meetings among inter-religious leaders and scholars among various religious leaders and the Government.

In 1997/98, inter-religious leaders and religious leaders had meetings on 2 (two) locations with 240 participants, a meeting among religious leaders and the government in one location attended by 40 participants, meetings among religious leaders in nine locations attended by 106 participants and three meetings among inter-religious scholars attended by 120 participants.

The meetings yielded various ideas to overcome problems related to a harmonious religious life. These meetings motivated the inter-religious followers to improve the national unity.

To support and motivate the community to meet their needs in religious life covers several activities such as: financial aid for means and infrastructure for houses of worships, the construction of Marriage and Marital Advisory Halls (BNPP), supply of Holy-books and the promotion of religious services.

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Improvement of the means and infrastructure for worship is carried out through financial aid for the construction and rehabilitation of houses of worship in order to support the active participation of the community to meet their needs to worship.

In 1997/98, the Government gave financial aid to construct and rehabilitate houses of worship for 2,354 mosques, 243 Protestant-churches, 202 Catholic-churches, 146 temples and 54 viharas. Besides, the Government supplied financial aid for 806 houses of worship in schools and higher education campuses.

In the fourth year of Repelita VI, the Government built 683,016 houses of worship, consisting of 609,774 mosques, 31,758 Protestant-churches, 14,860 Catholic-churches, 22,407 temples and 4,217 viharas. In 1996/97, only 667,373 houses of worship were built, which was 15,643 less.

The construction of Marriage and Marital Advisory Halls (BNPP) is aimed at improving government services to the community in promoting family welfare through marital counseling.

Through BNPP, religious services to the community are more professional a/o. through the improvement in the quality of marital registrators (PPN) and their assistants.

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In 1997/98, the Government held upgrading courses for 1,156 marital registrators and 868 assistants. Besides, the Government constructed 72 BNPP buildings and rehabilitated 40 others with priority given to new administrations and remote areas.

In 1997/98 the Government constructed 3,400 BNPP buildings, mostly in provincial sub-districts, to provide larger and faster service.

In 1997/98, the Government supplied 962,350 copies of Holy-Books, consisting of 802,300 Korans for Moslems, 49,000 Bibles for Protestants, 43,000 Bibles for Roman Catholics, 40,500 Weda Books for Hindus and 27,500 "Tri Pitakas" for Buddhists. If compared with that in 1996/97, it increased by 147,499 copies or 18.1%.

The promotion of religious donations such as zakat, infaq, sadqah and wakaf (religious contribution in the form of money and land respectively) is increased to support social and productive activities in improving the people's welfare and alleviate poverty. Therefore, the Government has established a council called Bazis in all provinces to collect financial contributions.

To protect land contributions (wakaf) for religious purposes and the peoples welfare, in 1997/98, the government issued certificates for 12,191 plots of wakaf lands, which is more than the 11,578 plots in 1996/97.

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The improvement of Haj-pilgrimage services is aimed at smoothening the Haj-pilgrimage for Moslems.

The number of Indonesian Haj-pilgrims in 1996/97 was 199,100 pilgrims and in 1997/98, it increased to 201,000 pilgrims, reflecting a high religious consciousness and the people's economic welfare.

The increasing number of Haj-pilgrims was supported by the improvement of Haj-pilgrimage services covering procedures, preparations, departure from Indonesia, services in Saudi Arabia and their return to Indonesia.

In 1997/98, the Government built transit dormitories for Haj-pilgrims at 5 (five) locations namely Yogyakarta, Jambi, Palangka raya, Samarinda and Jayapura, and added 1 (one) embarkation point in Balikpapan, so that haj embarkation dormitories are available in Jakarta, Medan, Surabaya, Ujung Pandang, Surakarta and Balikpapan and transits in 26 provinces.

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Information provided by the Directorate of Foreign Information Services, Department of Information, Republic of Indonesia. supports I.C.E.Y. - H.O.P.E. (non-profit org)
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