IL News 005/2019
Church and State Strategic Forum (FSGN)
Monday, January 28th, 2019, Working Council Assembly of Indonesia Council of Churches, Cisarua, Bogor.


Church should play active role in building Indonesia nationhood. Along the line, Indonesia Council of Churches (PGI) invited Leimena Institute to discuss at Church and State Strategic Forum as part of Working Council Assembly from 28-31 January 2019. It was a follow-up from “National Dialogue on Pluralism and Peaceful Election” held the day before. The forum was held on Monday, January 28th, 2019 from 13.30 until 15.30 at Cisarua, Bogor.

Jakob Tobing, President of Leimena Institute, started by raising the importance of “Building Churches’ Role to Embrace the Battle of Ideology in Indonesia during 2019 Presidential/Legislative Election”. He further explained that General Election is constitutional instrument that must be executed in constitutional democracy framework. Hence, all activities on General Election should not give opportunity to the raise of ideas and movements aimed to destruct the Unitarian State of Indonesia Republic. Even though in reality, constitution principle has not been fully implemented in general election rules, churches in Indonesia are encouraged to actively participate in democracy consolidation. Churches should encourage their congregations to actively participate in general election smartly and critically as Indonesia citizens who are concerned for the nation’s prosperity. Churches should also encourage their congregations to guard Indonesia nationhood principle based on Pancasila and 1945 Constitution together with other nation components, including the interfaith.

As a practical review, Budi Hartono Setiamarga from Leimena Institute spoke about “The Battle of Ideology: What Should Be Done?”. Several ideologies will fight to dominate one’s mind and heart through different resort, be it good or bad. Hence, in order to reaffirm Pancasila as Indonesia foundation and ideology, there should be strategic efforts made to reaffirm the nationhood values in every peoples’ heart, especially the church citizens.

Along with this line, Leimena Institute facilitated multifaith collaboration to strengthen Pancasila and Citizenship Education. Several multifaith meetings have taken place to build the network, especially with moderate Muslim leaders or Islam Wassatiyyah. Various efforts on Pancasila and Citizenship Education has been done by Leimena Institute in many cities in Indonesia, collaborating with church synods, universities, and Indonesia Constitutional Court.

Comments and questions raised from synods leaders have shown huge concerns to increase churches’ roles as salt and light in Indonesia. Through solidarity with other citizens, churches in Indonesia are enabled to constructively participate for better future of Indonesia.