"It is true that small disputes related to the regional elections have occured, isnt it? They have taken place because of the gubernatorial, mayoral, and district head elections. This is what we have to prevent," he remarked while inaugurating Kilometer Zero of Archipelago Islam Civilization in the district of Barus, Central Tapanuli, North Sumatra, on Friday.
In view of this, President Jokowi has urged the public to not mix religion and politics.
"They must really be kept separate, so that the people will know which one is politics and which is religion," he explained.
President Jokowi has called to avoid tribal conflicts, let alone religious ones, as the country has several different religions and tribes as well as diverse local languages reaching up to 1,100.
"I wish to bring focus to this aspect, especially while I am now in North Sumatra. I wish to remind all that our nation is home to various tribes, religious followers, and racial groups," he pointed out.
He said Indonesia has 714 different tribes unlike other countries that may merely have one, two, or three.
"I remember there are the Gayo tribe, Batak, Sasak, Minang, Dayak, Javanese, Sundanese, Betawi, as well as Asmat in the easternmost part, Bugis and others," he said.
President Jokowi has appealed to all religious leaders to remind their followers to respect the diversity in the country, so that it would not create divisions.
"I entrust it (this responsibility) on you all," he stated.
"Religious clerics must spread awareness that we are indeed diverse, and that this diversity must be accepted as Gods blessings," he affirmed.
"This is a strong power and a huge potential that we must be able to take care of and preserve. This is what I wish to remind you all from the beginning," he added.
(Reported by Joko Susilo/Uu.H-YH/INE/KR-BSR/A014)