VP calls on national components to overcome radicalism

"I appreciate the development and contribution of churches, mosques, and other houses of worship so far and hope they would be part of religious education," Jusuf Kalla said.
Gunungsitoli, Nias, North Sumatra (ANTARA News) - Vice-President Jusuf Kalla appealed to all religious and national components on Tuesday to join hands in the fight to overcome poverty, injustice, and radicalism and preserve national unity and integrity.

"We have resolved to fight radicalism so that it will not grow and spread," he said while opening a conference of the Indonesian Communion of Churches (PGI) here.

He reminded that poverty and injustice could become the source and root of radicalism, so all national and religious components in the country must work together to ensure the welfare of the people.

He said with welfare and justice, the sources of radicalism could be wiped out.

"I appreciate the development and contribution of churches, mosques, and other houses of worship so far and hope they would be part of religious education," he noted.

The Vice-President also emphasized the importance of education and health by saying they were two important components that could ensure public welfare.

It was in view of this that the government recently launched the "health card" and "education card" schemes. According to Jusuf Kalla, they were part of the government efforts to reduce poverty and injustice. The cards enable the poor to get free access to health and education services.

Jusuf Kalla said Indonesia must feel grateful because despite the existence of different tribes, ethnic groups, traditions, and local languages, the people here lived in harmony.

"It gives us special joy to see our people living in harmony while minor clashes could also be overcome harmoniously," he noted while referring to the situations in the Philippines, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Palestine and Israel that continued to flare up and made the establishment of national harmony difficult.

The Vice-President, meanwhile, appreciated the contributions of churches in providing communities with health and educational services.

Rev. Andreas A Yewangoe, the PGI chairman, said churches would continue to follow "Pancasila" (state ideology) as the foundation of their efforts to help overcome poverty, injustice, and radicalism.

"We will implement Pancasila and accept pluralism to preserve nationalism," he said.

He observed that harmony has long been in existence, even before Indonesia came into existence and therefore it must always be preserved.(*)

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