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Indonesia: Like Jesus in the Temple

When we prepared an issue on courage, Yusuf Suharyono in Jatiwaringin, East Jakarta, Indonesia sent these lines. Together we decided to make them available in English as well as in the slightly shortened Swedish translation that was printed in the journal. Thank you, Yusuf, for sharing your thoughts with us!

Yusuf Suharyono. Photo provided by Yusuf

I’m a HRD manager, and I also work as a volunteer for the Taizé Community preparing for Together 2023 – the journey of God’s people; I’m responsible for prayers elsewhere in the world – mostly for Asian and Middle East countries.

Our country is currently preparing for elections in February 2024. Since there is no incumbent, it looks like most parties are racing to nominate their best cadres.

Instead of campaigning in a healthy and fair manner, they are using SARA issues.

More sadly, our society has become divided and polarized.

A shameful incident happened in the 2017 regional election in Jakarta where Muslim radicals used ’verses & corpses’ for their black campaign.

In times like these, Church congregations are increasingly challenged because the majority of Indonesia’s population is Muslim. Our Church leaders seem to be slow to respond and prepare anticipatory measures.

Although the Church does not engage in praxis politics, is it possible for them to do something concrete and relevant? Prayer could be the answer but could the Church leaders promote more interfaith dialogue and a more assertive statement and action against radical and intolerant actions.

Sometimes I wish the Church would show a more assertive side like Jesus who drove out the troublemakers in the temple.