Jakarta, (ANTARA News) - The Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Indonesian Council of Ulema, Din Syamsuddin, has called upon the nation?s religious leaders not to carry out political campaigns in places of worship, or persuade the people by endorsing political candidates.

Speaking in Jakarta on Thursday, Din Syamsuddin said he believed that one should underline ethical values and morality when looking at politics from a religious perspective.

"Speaking of political ethics and morality in religious politics, places of worship should not be used for political campaigns, let alone voicing an inclination towards certain political candidates," he said.

Din noted that in the teachings of Islam, there are no specifications about the separation between politics and religion, which often led to the association between the two. However, the association of religion in politics should continue to place an emphasis on morals and ethics.

He noted that when political inclination and campaigns are brought into places of worship, it can cause divisions between the people.

"If that happens, I think the Muslim congregation, itself, will experience divisions and hostility against one another and, in the end, the practice of democracy could divide us," he said.

Meanwhile, Head of the Indonesian Church Fellowship Henriette Tabita Hutabarat Lebang stated that the Fellowship has sent out an appeal to all churches to not use the pulpit as a place to promote political campaigns, in an effort to prevent separations between the congregation.

"Political choices can differ. If the pulpit is used as a place for political campaigns, there could be segregation within the congregation," said Lebang.

Reporting by Aditya Ramadhan
Editing by Aria Cindyara, Andi Abdussalam

Reporter: Antara
Editor: Suharto
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