IL News 022/2019
Waingapu, Eastern Sumba, West Timor. November 11, 2019.
During the 17th General Assembly of Council of Churches in Indonesia at Waingapu, Eastern Sumba, Leimena Institute was involved further in proposing 2019-2024 social politic workplan. It is an opportunity to discuss the important contemplation in social politic amongst the church leaders.
The meeting was held at Sumba Christian Church in Prailiu, Payeti. Leimena Institute assigned Budi Hartono Setiamarga as one of the panelist. The other two panelists are Rev. Andrikus Mofu (Chairman of GKI Tanah Papua Synod) and Johny Nelson Simanjuntak (Law and Human Right Bureau, Council of Churches in Indonesia). It was joined by 100 participants from various synods.
Leimena Institute presented how churches are often restless with problems in our nation, such as money politic, radicalization, hoax, poverty, hate-speech, corruption, intolerance, etc. These are the rottenness often criticized by Christians.
The problem is, where is the salt supposed to prevent the rottenness? Where is church in facing different social politic issues? As salt, do churches prefer hiding in comfort zone? Churches need to get out of their comfort zones. To do so, there have to be internal and external efforts.
The internal effort could be developing a conducive political theology combined with capacity building in 3 aspects (Heart, Head, and Hand). The external effort could be building network amongst Indonesia society by being friendly and inclusive, and constructively participating in social politic. Churches need to get involved because the future of Indonesia is the future of Indonesian Christian as well.
Rev. Andrikus Mofu presented Papua’s problems and the needs to tackle them immediately for the future of peaceful and prospered Papuans.
Papua’s problems are not only humanitarian issue, but also the environment and political issues. Most of the time, the approach is safety issue, with lack of focus on Papuans prosperity.
Johny Nelson Simanjuntak presented law issues which also needed church’s involvement. He emphasized on churches being moral strength as role model in living harmony in Indonesia.
This discussion were warmly welcomed by participants, shown by dozens of comments, suggestions, and questions asked. Overall, it is common desire that Indonesia Council of Churches together with Synods actively participate in nation building, especially in social politic. This is a huge challenge for Indonesian Christian.