Religious Affairs Minister Issues New Circular on Worship Activities amid Pandemic

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation     Date 7 Februari 2022
Category: News
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Following the spike in daily cases of COVID-19 due to the highly transmissible Omicron variant, Minister of Religious Affairs on February 4, 2022 issued a Circular on religious activities during pandemic.

Minister of Religious Affairs Yaqut Cholil Qoumas signed Circular Number SE.04 of 2022 on Implementation of Worship/Religious Activities in Places of Worship during Public Activity Restrictions Level 3, Level 2, and Level 1 Corona Virus Disease 2019 in the Java and Bali Regions, Enforcement of Level 3, Level 2, and Level 1 of Public Activity Restrictions and Optimizing Handling Posts Corona Virus Disease 2019 at the Village and Sub-District Levels to Control the Spread of Corona Virus Disease 2019 in the Sumatra, Nusa Tenggara, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Maluku and Papua Regions, as well as the Implementation of the 5M Health Protocols.

“We re-issued a Circular in order to prevent and break the spread of COVID-19 which is currently increasing due to Omicron variant. The Circular is also to provide security and convenient to the public in carrying out worship activities by implementing the 5M health protocols during the public activity restrictions (PPKM),” explained Yaqut, quoted from the official website of Ministry of Religious Affairs, Monday (02/07).

This Circular is addressed to Middle High Leadership Officials, Central First High Leadership Officials, Chancellors/Chairpersons of State Religious Universities, Heads of Regional Office of the Provincial Ministry of Religious Affairs, Heads of Regency/City Office of Ministry of Religious Affairs, Heads of Madrasahs/Heads of Religious Education Units, Heads of District Office of Religious Affairs, Religious Leaders and Counselors, State Civil Apparatus of Ministry of Religious Affairs, Leaders of Religious Community Organizations, Managers and Administrators of Places of Worship, and Religious People throughout Indonesia.

“The Circular was issued with the aim of providing guidance for stakeholders and religious communities in carrying out worship/religious activities and implementing the 5M health protocol in places of worship during the PPKM period,” he said.

The provisions in this Circular contain four things, namely: places of worship, administrators and managers of places of worship, congregations, as well as dissemination and monitoring schemes.

The contains of the circular are as follows:

  1. Places of Worship
    1. Places of worship in regencies/cities in Java and Bali islands:
      1. Level 3, can hold congregational worship activities during PPKM with a maximum of 50 percent of the capacity and a maximum of 50 people by implementing stricter health protocols;
      2. Level 2, can hold congregational worship activities during PPKM with a maximum of 75 percent of the capacity and a maximum of 75 people by implementing stricter health protocols; and
      3. Level 1, can hold congregational worship activities during PPKM with a maximum of 75 percent of the capacity by implementing stricter health protocols.
    2. Places of worship in the regencies/cities of Sumatra, Nusa Tenggara, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Maluku, and Papua islands:
      1. Level 3, can hold congregational worship activities during the PPKM period with a maximum of 50 percent of the capacity and a maximum of 50 people by implementing stricter health protocols;
      2. Level 2, can hold congregational worship activities during the PPKM period with a maximum of 75 percent of the capacity and a maximum of 75 people by implementing stricter health protocols; and
      3. Level 1, can hold congregational worship activities during the PPKM period with a maximum number of 75 percent of the capacity by implementing stricter health protocols.
  2. Managers and Administrators of Places of Worship
    1. Managers and administrators of places of worship are obliged to:
      1. provide officers to inform and supervise the implementation of the 5M health protocols;
      2. check body temperature for each visitor using a body temperature measuring device (thermogun);
      3. provide hand sanitizer and facilities for washing hands using soap and running water;
      4. provide a backup of medical masks;
      5. prohibit people with unhealthy conditions to participate in worship activities;
      6. set the distance between congregations at least one meter by placing a special mark on the floor, yard, or chair;
      7. not run/distribute charity boxes, infaq (donation), collection bags, or bounty funds to the congregation;
      8. ensure that there are no crowds before and after the worship/religious activities by arranging access to and from entering the places of worship;
      9. carry out routine disinfection of rooms used for worship/religious activities;
      10. ensure that places of worship have good air ventilation, have windows for sunlight and when using air conditioner (AC) it must be cleaned regularly;
      11. carry out worship/religious activities for a maximum of one hour; and
      12. ensure that the implementation of sermons, lectures, or speech must meet the following conditions:
        1. Islamic preachers, Catholic priests, Christian priests, Buddhist priests (pandita), Hindu priests (pedanda), or clergy wear masks and face shields properly and correctly;
        2. Islamic preachers, Catholic priests, Christian priests, Buddhist priests (pandita), Hindu priests (pedanda), or clergy deliver sermons with a maximum duration of 15 minutes; and
        3. Islamic preachers, Catholic priests, Christian priests, Buddhist priests (pandita), Hindu priests (pedanda), or clergy remind the congregation to always keep fit and comply with health protocols.
    2. The managers and administrators of places of worship prepare, disseminate, and simulate the use of the PeduliLindung application.
  3. Congregation
    1. use masks properly and correctly;
    2. maintain hand hygiene;
    3. maintain a distance of at least one meter from other congregants;
    4. in good health (body temperature below 37 degrees Celsius);
    5. not currently in self-isolation;
    6. bring their respective worship/religious equipment (prayer mat, prayer robe, and so on);
    7. avoid physical contact or shake hands;
    8. not just returned from a trip outside the area; and
    9. those aged 60 years and above and currently pregnant/breastfeeding women are advised to worship at home.
  4. Dissemination, Monitoring, Coordination, and Reporting

Middle High Leadership Officials, Central First High Leadership Officials, Chancellors/Chairperson of State Religious Universities, Heads of Regional Office of the Provincial Ministry of Religious Affairs, Heads of Regency/City Office of Ministry of Religious Affairs, Heads of Madrasahs/Heads of Religious Education Units, Heads of District Office of Religious Affairs, Religious Leaders and Counselors, State Civil Apparatus of Ministry of Religious Affairs:

  1. continue to disseminate Instruction of Minister of Religious Affairs Number 1 of 2021 on Discipline Improvement in the Implementation of Health Protocols in the Prevention and Control of Corona Virus Disease 2019 at the Ministry of Religion intensively;
  2. carry out dissemination and monitoring of the implementation of this Circular;
  3. in carrying out monitoring, coordinating with Work Unit Leaders, Government Leaders, Task Force for Handling COVID-19, and security forces; and
  4. report the implementation of dissemination, monitoring, and coordination as referred to in letter a, letter b, and letter c to the Head of the Work Unit or supervisor of each Work Unit.

(PR of Ministry of Religious Affairs/UN) (EST/MUR)

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