Religious Affairs Minister Issues Provisions for 2022 Christmas Celebration

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation     Date 21 Desember 2022
Category: News
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Minister of Religious Affairs Yaqut Cholil Qoumas has issued Circular Letter Number 15 of 2022 on Chistmas Celebration 2022 during the Corona Virus Disease 2019 Pandemic. The letter issued on 19 December 2022 aims to provide security and comfort to people in celebrating 2022 Christmas, and also to prevent, handle, and break the chain of COVID-19 spread.

“The circular letter is part of the Minister of Religious Affairs’ concerns to respect the rights of the Christians to perform their worship and ensure the Christmas worship runs well and comfortably,” Acting Director General of Guidance to the Catholics A.M. Adiyarto Sumardjono, as cited from the website of Ministry of Religious Affairs, on Wednesday (12/21).

 “The 2022 Christmas worship and celebration held in person may be attended by participants with a maximum of 100 percent of the church’s capacity, and health protocols must be strictly implemented,” the Spokesperson of Ministry of Religious Affairs Anna Hasbie said.

“Addition to worship room’s capacity or the number of participants outside the church’s complex can be done after receiving a permission granted by the local police and a coordination with the local COVID-19 Handling Task Force,” Anna elaborated.

The provisions for Christmas Celebration during COVID-19 Pandemic based on Circular Letter Number 15 of 2022 are as follows.

  1. Restriction and monitoring of health protocols should be implemented at churches or places used for worship by applying the policy according to the Public Activity Restrictions (PPKM) Level 1.
  2. The church forms COVID-19 Handling Task Force for Health Protocol in coordination with the local COVID-19 Handling Task Force.
  3. Christmas celebration and worship:
    1. should be conducted in a simple and modest manner;
    2. conducted at the church in an offline, online, or hybrid method;
    3. the number of participants attending the 2022 Christmas worship and celebration held offline is a maximum of 100 percent of the church’s capacity, and health protocols must be strictly implemented;
    4. addition to worship room’s capacity or number of participants should use permanent rooms outside the main building of the church within the church’s complex;
    5. addition to worship room’s capacity or number of participants by using additional/non-permanent equipments, such as tents or others should be adjusted with a maximum limit of the area used and within the church’s complex; and
    6. addition to worship room’s capacity or number of participants outside the church’s complex can be done after receiving a permission granted by the local police and a coordination with the local COVID-19 Handling Task Force.
  4. In the 2022 Christmas worship and celebration, the committee and management of the church are obliged to:
    1. assign personnel to inform and monitor the 5M health protocol;
    2. provide devices to check participants’ temperature at the entrance;
    3. check every participant’s temperature using thermogun;
    4. provide hand sanitizer and facilities for hand washing with soaps and running water at the entrance and exit of the church;
    5. perform regular cleaning and disinfection of the church’s area;
    6. manage the mobility flow of the participants at the entrance and exit of the church to ease the health protocol implementation and monitoring;
    7. manage the number of participants gathering at the same time to keep physical distancing;
    8. provide masks for backup;
    9. prohibit unhealthy participants from joining the worship activities;
    10. suggest participants aged 60 years above, pregnant women, and women with infants to join the worship online;
    11. suggest collection pockets to be placed at certain areas and not to be circulated;
    12. ensure no crowds before and after the worship ativities by managing the entrance and exit;
    13. ensure the church and places for worship have good air circulation and sunlight, and any existing air conditioner must be cleaned regularly:
    14. ensure the sermon fulfils the following terms:
      1. pastor, priest, or reverend uses mask properly and correctly; and
      2. pastor, priest, or reverend reminds the participants to stay healthy and implement the health protocols.
  5. The participant of the 2022 Christmas Celebration is obliged to:
    1. use masks properly and correctly;
    2. keep the hands clean by washing hands with running water or hand sanitizer;
    3. be in a healthy condition (body temperature must be under 37 degree celcius);
    4. not in a process of self-isolation;
    5. bring private equipments for worship; and
    6. avoid physical contact or hand shaking.
  6. Parades for the 2022 Christmas Celebration are not recommended.
  7. High-level Officials of Ministry of Religious Affairs should:
    1. disseminate health protocols and educate the public on health protocols;
    2. monitor the 2022 Christmas Celebration at the central level;
    3. coordinate with leaders of ministries/institutions, leaders of the Indonesian Military/Police, leaders of State-owned Enterprises, COVID-19 Handling Task Forces, and social and religious figures at the central level; and
    4. report the result of the monitoring to the Minister of Religious Affairs through Secretary General of Ministry of Religious Affairs periodically.
  8. Rectors/Heads of Christian and Catholic Universities, Heads of Provicial Offices of Ministry of Religious Affairs, Heads of Offices of Ministry of Religious Affairs at Regencies/Cities, Government Religious Education Agencies for Christian and Catholic beliefs, and Instructors of Christian and Catholic beliefs should:
    1. disseminate health protocols and educate the public on health protocol;
    2. monitor the 2022 Christmas Celebration at government institutions at the levels of provice, regency/city, district, and sub-district/vilage, and Region or Village-owned Enterprises;
    3. coordinate with governor, regent/vice regent, district head, sub-district/village head, leaders of local Indonesian Military/Police, leaders of Region or Village-owned Enterprises, COVID-19 Handling Task Forces, and social and religious figures at the regional level;
    4. report the result of the monitoring by the Rectors/Heads of Christian and Catholic Universities and Heads of Provicial Offices of Ministry of Religious Affairs to the Minister of Religious Affairs to Secretary General of Ministry of Religious Affairs periodically.

(UN) (AW/MUR)

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