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Clear choice for Indonesian Christians in presidential election

Catholic World News - June 18, 2014

Indonesia’s Christians have a clear choice in the July 9 presidential election, according to an official of the Bishops’ Conference of Indonesia.

The Southeast Asian nation, the world’s 4th-most populous at 251 million, has the largest Muslim population of any nation but also has a sizable Christian population. It is 86% Muslim, 6% Protestant, 3% Catholic, and 2% Hindu.

Father Benny Suseyto, secretary of the Commission for Interreligious Dialogue, told the Fides news agency that Joko Widodo, the current governor of Jakarta, is “a leader who has put on his agenda the issues of human rights and freedoms, the rights of minorities, the fight against religious intolerance, in addition to the urgent issue of the fight against corruption. He is a candidate who desires to lead a democratic and pluralistic Indonesia.”

On the other hand, Prabowo Subianto, a former lieutenant general, “has recently found the support of Islamic parties and also of radical Islamic groups, such as the Islamic Defenders Front, promoter of hatred and violence in society,” said Father Suseyto. “This has caused disappointment in the areas of civil society that pay more attention to human rights issues.”

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