"The figure increased in comparison with 70.90 last year though fell short of the 2015 index of 75.36," Religious Affairs Minister Fachrul Razi remarked in Jakarta on Wednesday.
The religious harmony index this year averaged at 73.83 nationwide, which meant that the level of religious harmony is high.
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Despite the downward trend in the religious harmony index, the index has stayed above 70 in each of the past five years, thereby indicative of a high level of harmony among adherents of different faiths, he pointed out.
He noted that the religious harmony index measures the levels of tolerance, equality, and inter-religious cooperation among adherents of different faiths in the country. The three variables are measured to determine the index, with a score of 72.37 for tolerance, 73.72 for equality, and 75.40 for cooperation.
He expressed gratitude to the Almighty for the scores that suggested high religious harmony in the past five years. However, it is vital to gauge which factors influence the index as part of the efforts to improve it.
The minister remarked that the Religious Affairs Ministry is readying a policy to draw up programs and activities in each working unit under its endeavor to increase the index.
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