Apply religious approach to expedite vaccination drives: MUI

Apply religious approach to expedite vaccination drives: MUI

Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) Da'wah and Ukhuwah Department Head Cholil Nafis. (ANTARA/HO-MUI).

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Places of worship and other religious facilities should be used optimally for vaccination drives to draw more residents to get vaccinated, Head of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI)  for Preaching and Fraternity Affairs Cholil Nafis stated.

"To achieve our 70-percent national vaccination coverage target, those places should be utilized to facilitate vaccination drives. As we are a nation with faith in God, we should not neglect religious values," Nafis stated in Jakarta, Wednesday.

Nafis noted that residents, who are hesitant to get vaccinated on religious grounds, might be convinced if the religious approach is applied to invite them and if places of worship were to be used for vaccination drives.

Speaking in connection with vaccination at religious schools and pesantrens (Islamic boarding schools), vaccination drives there should also target residents living outside religious institutions rather than vaccinating only the teachers and pupils enrolled in the school, he added.

Nafis reminded the government to involve ulemas for promoting vaccination drives to the reluctant residents and to ensure they receive the correct vaccination-related information.

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"We need to combine religious scriptures with scientific data, and while presenting actual scientific and medical facts, we should also provide relevant religious verses," Nafis affirmed.

The MUI official identified two main groups with differing responses to the COVID-19 vaccine, with the first one comprising those who accept all measures necessary, including vaccination, to protect themselves from the disease, while the second group constitutes those who refuse vaccination since they believe COVID-19 was part of the Almighty God's plan, and it is only Him, who will remove the virus.

"What we need to remind them is that scientific and medical measures are still necessary while understanding that our life depends only on Allah SWT, the Almighty God, who has outlined a destiny for every human life," Nafis stated.

Apart from the vaccination drives, the MUI also encourages post-COVID-19 economic recovery activities by collaborating with the national alms management agency BAZNAS and the Aksi Cepat Tanggap humanitarian organization (ACT), he stated. 

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