Jakarta (ANTARA) - Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas urged the Religious Affairs Office (KUA) established in cities and districts to extend their scope of duty to promote religious moderation and social activities beyond merely officiating marriages.

"The KUA must provide prime service, as its function is not merely officiating weddings but also extending to all functions as is reflected in the institution's name," Qoumas noted at the ministry's Directorate General of Islamic Community Guidance meeting release received in Jakarta on Friday.

The minister pointed out that revitalisation of the Religious Affairs Office is part of his priority programs to ensure residents at the local level can receive the required religious services from the office.

The office is expected not only to officiate and log marriages but also have a strategic role as a religious database and provider of religious services at the local level, he noted.

"Matters of religious importance are extended from birth to death. Hence, we must ensure that we will always be capable of serving residents," Qoumas affirmed.

The revitalisation program has been extended to 106 regional offices in 2021, the minister noted, adding that this year's revitalisation program is targeting one thousand KUAs nationwide.

"Yet, our budget is sufficient only to revitalise up to 250 KUAs. We will seek solutions to the budget issue to ensure we can achieve the target soon," he noted.

Meanwhile, Director General of Islamic Community Guidance, Kamaruddin Amin, spoke of having encouraged regional Religious Affairs Offices to establish alms collection units at the local level.

The service is provided to bolster the residents' participation to offer alms and donations as well as to enhance the local Muslim economy, he stressed.

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"If the KUA establishes their collection unit, it will have a great effect in enhancing the Muslim economy by synergising with the National Alms Agency and Indonesia Waqf Agency," Amin remarked.

By this year, seven alms collection units have been established by KUAs, the director general noted, adding that he was convinced the KUA revitalisation program will proceed smoothly.

"There will certainly be challenges, but we believe we can continue this mission through our common spirit, vision, and commitment," Amin stressed.

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Translator: Asep Firmansyah, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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