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Minister Jonan: I am 100 Percent a Catholic and an Indonesian
Energy and Mineral Resources Minister (ESDM) Ignasius Jonan and Vice Archandra Tahar during inauguration in state palace, Jakarta, Oct. 14, 2016. Tempo/ Aditia Noviansyah
Saturday, 12 August, 2017 | 18:58 WIB
Minister Jonan: I am 100 Percent a Catholic and an Indonesian

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Energy and Mineral Resources Ignasius Jonan is the only minister in the cabinet of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) who is a Catholic. However, he says he never calls himself as a minority.

"I’m 100 percent a Catholic. But I’m also 100 percent an Indonesian," Jonan said at the National Catholic Conference in Atma Jaya Catholic University today, August 12.

Read: Minister Jonan: Young Generation Have the Power to Change

According to Jonan, Indonesia is a diverse country and he is no stranger to the thing called tolerance since he was a child. He has a younger brother who is a Muslim and never had a problem with that. "Because I respect a difference, so I think being tolerant is not a big deal. I have my own belief and so does my brother," he said.

Jonan further says that he will treat his children the same. The former transport minister will let his children choose their own religion based on their own beliefs. "I raise them with the Catholic teaching. But, when they grew up and they have their own beliefs (different from mine), it’s fine. I’m [a] fair [parent]," he said.

According to Jonan, a belief is not something to be debated. The Indonesian people from Sabang (the western part of the country) to Merauke (the eastern part of Indonesia) have been living with the difference since the very beginning. "Respecting the difference is a must if you want this country remain to exist," he remarked.

Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu echoes Ignasius Jonan. Ryamizard says the differences of race, ethnicity, and religion are nothing to be contested because it will only let small matters become big issues. "This is a very important thing. I want us to be a big nation. And hopefully, it also contains with big hearts.”


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