Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) has said that the development of diversity-friendly mosques could serve as a solution to check the potential politicization of mosques ahead of the 2024 General Elections.

"Facing the political year, the diversity-friendly mosque would be essential as the solution to the politicization of mosques potentials," Head of BRIN's Religion and Faith Research Center Aji Sofanudin said at an online discussion, which was accessed from here on Wednesday.

Sofanudin defined the politicization of mosques as the practice of using mosques as mediums for promoting a particular political agenda, either by political groups or by individuals.

Mosques that respect differences, promote tolerance, and can unite the community are necessary to alleviate conflicts due to political differences in the political year, he said.

"2024 is a political year when politicization will be rampant, including the politicization of mosques," he noted.

The relevant stakeholders at mosques should contribute to realizing a safe mosque environment to accommodate all Muslim groups, the research center head said.

Ahead of the elections, presidential and vice presidential candidates will strive to align themselves with Muslim leaders and preachers by frequently visiting mosques, especially mosques of historical significance and major regional mosques, he noted.

"This is one of the factors that could cause mosque politicization," Sofanudin said.

Meanwhile, to address the risk of the politicization of places of worship, the Religious Affairs Ministry's Directorate of Muslim Community Guidance has also initiated the Mosque as Pioneer of Religious Moderation (MPMB) program.

The program is a form of innovation in mosque management and aims to realize professional, moderate, and empowered mosques.

One of the program's targets is to develop places of worship as centers of the tolerant proselytization of religion.

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Translator: Sean Filo Muhamad, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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