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Indonesia: President Jokowi Visits Cathedral Church on Christmas Day

President Jokowi during a Christmas visit at the Bogor Cathedral Church (Photo Credit: Kosmos Cathedral Bogor)

President Joko Widodo, who is also known as Jokowi, visited the congregations on Christmas Day at the cathedral church in Bogor, West Java, on December 25.

In his speech, the president urged people to improve their relationships with each other and protect the environment so that Indonesia could get back on its feet.

"Let's continue to strengthen the bonds of brotherhood and our environment for the rise of the unitary state of the Republic of Indonesia," said Jokowi.

"Merry Christmas and a happy new year 2023," he said, adding, "May God bless us all."

The Vicar General of the Bogor Diocese, Father Yohanes Suparto, said that Jokowi was the first president to go to the Christmas service at the Cathedral Church. 

He was pleased that Jokowi personally attended Christmas at the Cathedral Church.

"We were very, very surprised at how happy everyone really felt when Jokowi entered the church—after all, Jokowi turned out to be a person who always wanted to be close to anyone," Suparto said.

"In fact, this is history for us at the Bogor Church because it is only Jokowi who has ever come as President to enter our church," he added.

Suparto also talked about Jokowi's message to keep working together and being tolerant for the sake of the country's revival. 

"Jokowi's message was also powerful for us, so we must keep being united and tolerant for the sake of the rise of the Indonesian country we love." 

"This is a magnificent Christmas gift for all Christians from God," he stated.

Meanwhile, Rita B. Marcia, who is an active member of the choir at the Bogor Cathedral Church, said that Jokowi's visit was amazing.

The woman who joined the Bogor Cathedral Church choir in 1989 admitted that she was deeply moved by Jokowi's arrival. 

She called the moment the most beautiful gift at this year's Christmas celebration.

"As for us, and for myself specifically, I am really moved. This is the most wonderful Christmas gift for the people of the Bogor Cathedral; it is a beautiful present for us," she said.

Marcia also liked Jokowi’s humility in waiting to enter the church as worship was going on.

"A president who visits with humility, with all of the rites he must observe in the church. He had waited to enter.  It's most humbling, most appreciative, and most extraordinary for us," she stated.

She continued, "that demonstrates, in my opinion, that he has a deep understanding of other people's beliefs.”

“It's extraordinary; I'm extremely moved; and, in general, Catholics feel very joyful,"  She concluded. 

Despite the fact that Indonesia is a largely Muslim country, with Muslims comprising more than 80% of its 273 million total people, as of June 2021, there were 28.82 million Christians in the country.

Christians number 20,400,000, whereas Catholics number 8,411,000. -Kasmir Nema


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.