Religious Ministry Issues Guide to Commemorate Religious Holidays amid Pandemic
Date 11 Oktober 2021
Minister of Religious Affairs Yaqut Cholil Qoumas, Thursday (07/10), issued Circular of Minister of Religious Affairs Number 29 of 2021 on Guide to Commemorate Religious Holidays amid the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic.
“We issued the guide in order to prevent and break the chain of COVID-19 transmission as well as to provide safety and security to the people in commemorating Maulid Nabi (the birth of the Prophet Muhammad), Christmas, and other religious holidays amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said as quoted from the official website of Ministry of Religious Affairs, Monday (11/10).
According to Yaqut, the guide was created by considering regions’ condition or status in COVID-19 pandemic context. For example, regions implementing public activity restrictions (PPKM) level 2 and level 1 can carry out religious commemorations in person with strict health protocols.
“For regions [implementing PPKM] level 4 and level 3, religious commemorations should be held virtually or online,” he said.
The Minister went on to say that event organizers should provide QR Code for contact-tracing application PeduliLindungi, adding that attendees should also use PeduliLindungi at places of worship and other places used to celebrate religious holidays.
“It is forbidden to carry out a parade in order to commemorate religious holidays that involves a huge number of participants,” he said.
The conditions in the Guide to Commemorate Religious Holidays amid Pandemic are as follows:
- Religious commemorations in regions with COVID-19 transmission level 2 and level 1 can be carried out in person with strict health protocols;
- Religious commemorations in regions with COVID-19 transmission level 4 and level 3 should be carried out virtually or online;
- In case of in-person religious commemorations in regions with COVID-19 transmission level 4 and level 3, they should be:
- held outdoor;
- if held at places of worship (mosques/musallas, churches, Hindu temples, viharas, Confucian temples, and other places functioned as places of worship) or other indoor areas, the maximum number of attendees is 50 percent of the room capacity or 50 people;
- attendees should be local residents; and
- event implementation and attendees as indicated in letter a, letter b, and letter c must remain observing stricter health protocols and must be coordinated with local COVID-19 task force;
- Religious commemoration organizers are obliged to:
- assign officers to inform and oversee 5M health protocols observation (washing hands, wearing a facemask, maintaining a safe distance, avoiding crowds, reducing mobility);
- check body temperature of all congregation using thermometer gun;
- provide hand sanitizer and hand-washing facilities with soap and flowing water;
- provide medical mask supply;
- forbid congregation who is in unhealthy condition from participating the religious activity;
- manage to keep a distance of at least one meter between congregation using special marks on the floor, field, or chairs;
- place charity boxes at certain places and not passing them around;
- ensure there is no crowd before or after the religious activity is carried out by managing congregation’s access to enter and exit;
- disinfect places where the activity is to be carried out;
- ensure that place of worship/venue has good air circulation and sunlight can pass through the place, and if the place uses air conditioner, it must be cleaned periodically;
- ensure that sermon, preaching, or lecture must meet the following conditions: Preachers, priests, pastors, or clergymen wear a face mask and a face shield properly; and preachers, priests, pastors, or clergymen remind congregation to always stay healthy and observe health protocols.
- Religious commemoration attendees are obliged to:
- wear a face mask properly;
- maintain hand cleanliness by washing hands using flowing water or hand sanitizer;
- maintain a distance of at least one meter from other congregations;
- be in healthy condition (body temperature under 37 degrees Celcius);
- not be in self-isolation period;
- bring their own prayer/religious items (prayer mat, mukena, etc.);
- bring their own bag to wrap footwear;
- avoid physical contacts or handshakes;
- not have just returned from a travel outside the region; and
- those who are 60 years old and above, pregnant women, and breastfeeding women are recommended to pray at home.
- Event organizers should provide PeduliLindungi QR Code and attendees should use PeduliLindungi application at places of worship and other places used to carry out religious commemorations;
- It is forbidden to carry out a parade in order to commemorate religious holidays that involves a large number of people. (PR of Ministry of Religious Affairs/UN) (DH/MMB)