PGI Protests several Clauses in Religious Education Draft Bill

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  • The Chairman of the Communion of Churches in Indonesia (PGI), Henriette Tabita Hutabarat [center] and also head of PGI Albertus Patty [Right] and PGI Secretary Gomar Gultom [speaking with the press] and the Bishops' Conference of Indonesia (KWI). Image: ANTARA

    The Chairman of the Communion of Churches in Indonesia (PGI), Henriette Tabita Hutabarat [center] and also head of PGI Albertus Patty [Right] and PGI Secretary Gomar Gultom [speaking with the press] and the Bishops' Conference of Indonesia (KWI). Image: ANTARA

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - A number of articles contained in the Islamic Boarding Schools (Pesantren) and Religious Education Draft Bill (RUU) was met with protests from the Indonesian Communion of Churches (PGI) as it oversees Sunday school worships and church catechism.

    PGI General Secretary Gomar Gultom argues that the two activities do not need to be backed by the rules stated in the RUU’s Article 69 and 70. 

    “Sunday schools do indeed use the word school but it already is part of a Church’s worship activity, same goes to catechism,” said Gomar Gultom when Tempo reached him on Friday, October 26.

    PGI also disagrees with the limit on the number of attendants during a non-formal education program held by Churches, as the Draft Bill’s Article 69 and 70 states that such activities must be attended by a minimum of 15 congregations.

    The following are parts of Article 69 in question:

    Article 69

    (1) Non-formal Christian Religious Education as stated in Article 56 is held in the form of Sunday School, Bible School, Church Youths, Catechism, or any other similar activities. 

    (2) The non-formal Christian Education as stated in the first clause are ones held by Churches, Christian mass-organizations, and Christian religious institutions in the form of a formal education or program. 

    (3) Non-formal Christian Religious Education in clause (1) is held in a program that has at least 15 attendees.

    (4) Non-formal Christian religious education held in the form of a formal education or compulsory formal education must bear a permit from the city’s or district’s Religious Affairs Office.

    TAUFIQ SIDDIQ