Surabaya, E Java (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) on Wednesday asked Christians residing in Indonesia to provide the world with a good example of peaceful coexistence among different religious groups as diversity is an unavoidable law of nature.

"Religious diversity and differences of opinion are more reasonable in modern life," he said at the national Christmas celebration in Surabaya, East Java.

Living in harmony and showing mercy are the correct choices as God has taught these values to mankind, Jokowi said, adding that all Indonesians need to keep fighting for and preserving them well in the lives of the nation and state.

"Amid the world facing huge challenges, as marked by food crises, economic crises, conflicts among nations, and even war, we must keep in mind and stay alert as Javanese people say, 'Eling lan waspodo'," he said.

Jokowi then highlighted the danger of conflicts and wars as they could cause a civilization to regress. However, unity and harmony could lead a nation toward sustainable development.

"As a nation, we are so lucky that we are able to maintain our unity in diversity. We are lucky to have the five principles of Pancasila," he said.

Indonesia is a great nation and state because it is home to 714 ethnic groups who speak more than 1,300 languages, the president added.

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Translator: W.Irawan, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Anton Santoso
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