Solo, Central Java (ANTARA) - Religious Affairs Minister, Yaqut Cholil Qoumas, urged that religion should not be used as a tool for politics.

"Religion should not be used as a tool to seize power in politics. Do not make religion as a political tool," he emphasized in Solo, Central Java, on Friday.

Especially since Indonesia is entering a political year, the minister noted that the general election is only a mechanism to determine the leader of the nation.

"The general election is just a mechanism, not a war or a life or death battle," he remarked.

Hence, he expressed hope that as religious communities, all Indonesians must maintain a conducive and peaceful atmosphere for the general election next year.

"We cannot hate each other or insult each other. Religious people should realize that elections and political years are only a mechanism to determine the country's leader," he remarked.

However, Qoumas reminded that electing a leader should not be done carelessly.

"As religious communities, we have an obligation to choose the right leaders, so that the religion that we believe in can be maintained. The leader we chose should guarantee people can carry out their worship without any disturbance," he remarked.

He also urged voters to check the track record of potential leaders and not be deceived by physical appearances.

According to the minister, religion and politics cannot be separated. However, religion should not be used as a political tool to fulfill the lust for power.

"Do not use religion to fulfill the desire to seize power. Those who have different choices than us should not be hated. We still remember a bad use of religion in politics some time ago, during the Jakarta Governor election and the presidential election," Qoumas remarked.

Hence, he urged all parties to maintain their respective religion.

"We must ensure that our religion is not used as a tool to fight for power. Do not elect a candidate who uses religion for their political interests," he highlighted.

Translator: Aris Wasita, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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