Sentul, W Java (ANTARA) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) is expected to be present alongside the congregation during the national Christmas celebrations planned at the Sentul International Convention Center (SICC), Bogor District, West Java Province, on Wednesday.

According to the organizing committee chairman of this religious event, Juliari Peter Batubara, President Jokowi is scheduled to attend the national Christmas celebrations themed "giving up life for all people."

Batubara noted that the national Christmas celebrations, directly led by Jakarta Cardinal Ignatius Suharyo, are divided into two sessions: the Christmas service and Christmas celebration.

Speaking in connection with this event, Security Chief of PT Sentul City Tbk Paul Krisdianto admitted to being aware of the SICC serving as the venue for this year's national Christmas celebrations.

To this end, Krisdianto’s men are prepared to be stationed to offer a helping hand to security personnel in providing optimal security service to both the congregation as well as the guests and in helping them manage the arrival and departure of vehicles to avoid traffic congestion.

"We have been familiar with how to help secure the SICC complex area (during the convening of a big event), and we also have in place our standard operating procedures pertaining to security matters," he revealed.

In the meantime, the Christmas Eve services at churches across Indonesia on Tuesday evening reportedly ran peacefully.

The local police had confirmed that a gray backpack, found near the entrance of the Bethel Indonesia Church (GBI) on Kartini Street in Depok City, West Java Province, on Tuesday, did not contain any explosive material.

Following a thorough check, the Gegana bomb-disposal squad personnel discovered several books and clippings in the backpack, Depok Police Chief Adjunct Sen. Coms Azis Adriansyah revealed.

In Papua Province, over a thousand Christians in Waena, Abepura, Jayapura City, partook in a Christmas Eve service at the Siloam Indonesian Christian Church (GKI).

The congregation, arriving from various parts of Jayapura, the capital of Papua Province, thronged the church's front yard and its multi-function hall for the Christmas Eve service.

Christians in Biak Numfor District also attended the Christmas Eve services at churches, such as the GKI Maranatha Biak, Santa Maria, Immanuel Agung Samofa, IS Kijne, and Bethel Indonesia.

Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mahfud MD confirmed the police's readiness to secure this year's Christmas and New Year's Eve celebrations across Indonesia. (INE).

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Translator: M Fikri S, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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