Friday, January 21, 2011

Good and bad religious leaders

Good and bad religious leaders

Al Makin, Yogyakarta | Fri, 01/21/2011 10:44 AM | Opinion, The Jakarta Post
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We Indonesians regard religion as vital in our life. It is difficult to imagine life without religion here. If you are frustrated when faced with harsh reality (judicial mafia, corrupt bureaucrats and irresponsible dishonest politicians), where do you go to cry out for hope?

Most Indonesians have a subtle answer — praying rooms, be they mosques, churches, viharas, temples, or any other places where you can convey all of your discontent. Unsurprisingly, musallas (prayer rooms) are mushrooming in shopping malls, offices, stations and other public places.

Perhaps building many musallas is aimed at anticipating whenever, and wherever, reality does not side with people, they will easily come to the places and pray.

As religion still plays a crucial role in Indonesian society, so do religious leaders. Indonesians still listen to their religious advice not only in ceremonies and rites but also in the media. Preachers appear regularly on TV, radio, and news portals. Their speeches are recorded on CDs, flash disks and even YouTube.

Religious leaders — ulema, priests, bikhu or any other preachers — occupy a special place in Indonesian society. Politicians are aware of this. Regent, governor, or presidential candidates want to appear in the media, accompanied by religious leaders. If not, they should look pious, wearing traditional black caps (kopiah) and collarless white shirts (baju koko). To show piety is a gambit that politicians must comply with, if they want to win the people’s sympathy.

As for religious leaders in this country, there are many kinds. It depends on how you categorize them and it is based on what criteria the categorization is.

Read more....


Blogger Akoe said...

Thank you very much, Bapak Al Makin, for another excellent article. Please continue to offer your wisdom and good thoughts for all of us appreciative readers to enjoy. So may people prefer(conveniently, perhaps?) to forget that evil flourishes where good people choose not to involve themselves in stopping it!
Tami Koestomo, Bogor.

6:42 AM  

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