Saturday, December 29, 2012
CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION in INDONESIA in 2012
Indonesia Republic is the biggest moslem country in the world beside 4 other religions, legally free to worship, including Christian.The constitution allow every citizen to implement their religion free without fear.
Christmas service and celebration mostly full house, even over loaded, beyond church's buildings. Malls decorated with huge Christmas tree, lamps, snow alike and the carols all day long since the beginning of December.
From time to time, year by year, slowly but sure, western cultures influence local culture as well. Children are expecting gifts wrapped under Christmas tree. Malls copy midnight sales in the west to serve only 10% of Indonsian population. The mall's owner are mostly Christian chinese.
Few days before Dec 25, all TV channels feel free to perform Christmas songs, drama, film and service. Even Republic Presidents and vice President attending Christmas celebration broadcast across country by TV and Newspaper.
In the last decades, after Soeharto era, Christmas celebration just like war zone, the churches guarded by police forces and securities to keep the service safe from terorists bombs. They use detector to every single church goer who enter the gate. Search every bag and also searching under the pews inside the building.
That war situation meaningless to the conggregation not to miss the special celebration on eve of Christmas, to sing Holy night with candle light and see blinking lamps in the big Christmas tree in front of the altar and a short drama play of the born of Christ Yesus.
Meanwhile, strange policy state formally by Majelis Ulama Indonesia, an Ulema Moslem Organization, a special body set up by the Government that Moslem has no obligation to say Merry Christmast to Christian citizen. But a lot of friends in social media didn't care to the statement, keep write Merry Christmas. Some just say Happy New Year, without mention Merry Christmas.
In some cities, towns the Governor and high officials - Moslem - visit curches to make sure that the celebration run in peace and safe, Like Jakarta Governor Jokowidodo stop a while in GPIB church in Menteng area, central Jakarta to say Merry Christmass.
Special case happened to two Churches, 2 hours drive from Jakarta, the capital. One church GKI Yasmin in Bogor town and one church HKBP Philadelphia in Bekasi town, where local Moslem blocked the road, not allowed them to celebrate Christmast in their church. So they take advantage to celebrate it in front of President's palacein Central Jakarta. Mayors in Bekasi town and Bogor town did nothing at all to interfere the cases.
That is the recent situation in Indonesia, a Moslem country in Christmas celebration between war and peace.