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Indonesian Bishop: Choir festival to promote religious moderation

Choir festival (Photo provided)

In October, the Indonesian Church will organize a choral festival. 

At the meeting to plan the event, Bishop Antonius Subianto Benjamin said at the conference that one of its goals would be to encourage religious moderation.

The Institute for the Guidance and Development of the National Catholic Ecclesiastical Choir Festival (LP3KN) held a preparatory meeting at the Samadi Pastoral Center, Klender, East Jakarta, Indonesia, on May 13.

The conference is to prepare for the choir competition (Pesparani) II, held in October in Kupang, Eastern Indonesia. 

Kupang is the capital province of East Nusa Tenggara, known as a Christian province. The distance from Kupang City to Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, is 1,928 km.

Bishop Bunjamin, Secretary-General of the Indonesian Bishops' Conference (KWI), who was present at the meeting, spoke about strengthening religious moderation.

"For KWI Pesparani, it is a program to strengthen religious moderation, because this activity is not only targeting Catholics but also the participation of all people of other religions," the bishop Bunjamin said.

"There is a concrete example of the Pesparani committee, whose chairman is from non-Catholic circles," he added. 

So, the Church hopes that this National Working Meeting will be an excellent time to talk about important things, especially situations that could make religion less moderate.

He further emphasized that four pillars become essential indicators of religious moderation in the country.

First, tolerance is an active attitude, not just a passive one about respecting others. Second, the value of humanity is against anything contrary to human dignity.

Third, local culture must be accepted as a part of the life of the nation and state. 

Fourth, national commitment to Pancasila, the basis of the Indonesian state, the 1945 Constitution (Indonesian Constitution), Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (unity in diversity), and the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI).

"LP3KN members need to take seriously internal problems that don't fit with Pesparani's strong sense of brotherhood," Bishop Benjamin said.

Muliawan Margadana, Head of the Public Relations Division of LP3KN, added that Pesparani II in Kupang must carry a message of brotherhood. 

Pesparani must be seen as a competition that voices brotherhood and harmony in the frame of diversity. Because, according to him, diversity is a great nation's wealth.

"Unity, harmony, and brotherhood must be maintained to bring Indonesia into a great and respected country because respect for human dignity is prioritized," said Margadana.

The Ecclesiastical Choir Festival (PESPARANI) is an artistic and cultural activity for the Catholic community in the form of choir performances and competitions, responses to psalms, and the Bible, to develop an understanding, appreciation, and practice of Catholics toward the liturgy.

Pesarani is a spiritual activity that pays attention to, appreciates, and encourages the development of cultural arts with a Catholic religious spirit as a Feast of Faith in the form of worshiping and praising God. - Kasmir Nema 


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