Banda Aceh (ANTARA) - Acting Aceh Governor Nova Iriansyah made assurance that Christmas celebrations across Aceh Province will run in a peaceful and tranquil manner.

In conversation with journalists after observing the security situation at the Hati Kudus Catholic Church in Banda Aceh on Tuesday evening, Iriansyah noted that the government had coordinated with the police and military over ensuring security.

The governor noted that those from the regional leader communication forums (Forkompinda) were present to ensure that the Christmas Eve service at the church ran peacefully and securely.

Meanwhile, a churchgoer, Eliani Ginting, expressed gratitude to the Aceh provincial administration for offering security guarantee to the congregation of the Hati Kudus Catholic Church for celebrating Christmas.

During her stay in Aceh, Ginting, originally from Brastagi, North Sumatra Province, spoke of her faith in Christianity growing stronger owing to the Aceh people's sense of tolerance.

"Community members in my neighborhood also support us for holding our religious services. We hope this sense of tolerance remains well-preserved," she noted.

Apart from visiting the Hati Kudus Catholic Church, Iriansyah and other members of Forkompinda also observed the security situation at three other churches around Banda Aceh, the capital of Aceh Province.

As a token of gratitude, Iriansyah, Aceh Police Chief Inspector General Rio S. Djambak, and Commander of the Iskandar Muda Regional Military Command Mj. Gen. Teguh Arief Indratmoko presented gift packages to the police and military personnel securing the Christmas Eve services.

In the meantime, Christmas Eve services at churches in other cities across Indonesia also ran peacefully on Tuesday evening.

On Wednesday, Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) is expected to be alongside the congregation for the national Christmas celebrations held at the Sentul International Convention Center (SICC), Bogor District, West Java Province.

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

Batubara stated that the national Christmas celebrations, directly led by Jakarta Cardinal Ignatius Suharyo, is divided into two sessions: the Christmas service and Christmas celebration. (INE)

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Translator: M.Haris SA, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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