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Pope Francis Sets to Meet 150 Indonesian Religious Leaders in September Visit

Translator

Najla Nur Fauziyah

Editor

Laila Afifa

19 June 2024 19:52 WIB

Pope Francis celebrates Mass to mark the World Day of Peace in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, January 1, 2022. Pope Francis used his New Year's message on Saturday to issue a clarion call for an end to violence against women, saying it was insulting to God. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

TEMPO.CO, JakartaThe Grand Imam of the Istiqlal Mosque, Nasaruddin Umar, revealed that the head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, will visit the Istiqlal Mosque on September 5, 2024.

"God willing, the Pope will visit Indonesia from (September) 3 to 6, and visit Istiqlal (Mosque) on the 5th,” said Nasaruddin after Eid al-Adha prayers at the Istiqlal Mosque on Monday, June 17, 2024. Before visiting Istiqlal, the Pope will first visit the Jakarta Cathedral on September 4. 

Chairman of the Istiqlal Mosque Management Agency (BPMI) Ismail Cawidu, said the Pope aims to attend a meeting with religious leaders in Indonesia. "So it will be a meeting with all religious leaders in Indonesia," he said.

The meeting won’t be participated only by clerics and priests, but also by other religious leaders, including Buddhists, Hindus, and Confucians. "I happen to be the committee chair since the meeting comprises 150 people," he said.

Ismail also stated that Pope Francis would stop by East Nusa Tenggara as part of his visit to Asia. "He will visit Papua New Guinea, NTT (East Nusa Tenggara), and Singapore. But in 2024, he will visit Indonesia first," Ismail told Tempo

The Minister of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Lalu Muhammad Iqbal, said that Pope Francis had been planning to visit since 2020, but was hindered by COVID-19. 

Pope Francis would not be the only international figure to pay a visit to Istiqlal Mosque. In 2010, former United States President Barack Obama visited the Istiqlal Mosque with his wife Michelle.

“I admired its soaring minaret, imposing dome, and welcoming space,” he said at the time. He also expressed his appreciation for the fact that Istiqlal Mosque was designed by a Christian architect.

TIARA JUWI | DESTY LUTHFIANI

Editor’s Choice: Indonesia's Istiqlal Mosque to Welcome Pope Francis' Visit 

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