Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Indonesian Catholics celebrates Easter with various activities in peace. Catholics in Tanjungpinang city of Bintan Island Indonesia ended the 40 days long pre Easter period with a play on Jesus’ walk of cross locally called “Jalan Salib”. The plays performed by the parishioner youths at the compound of the church of Christ the King on Friday 21 March 2008 morning few hours before the holy mass to mark the Good Friday. There are around 7,500 Catholics in the parish of Heart of St. Mary Immaculata Tanjungpinang which scattered in around 1,200 islands in the province. This parish belonged to Diocese of Pangkalpinang a small diocese with 35,500 Catholics and 37 priests.

Bintan is the main island in the province with population of around 310,000 people of which around 85% are the staunch Malay moslem. The Catholics in this area enjoys a relatively warm relation with their Moslems brothers and other believers in the area such as the Buddhist which make up around 10% of the province population. Despite its small numbers the Catholics have been the integral part of the society in the city administration and politics. Boby Jayanto, the current city council speaker is a Catholic.

The parish marked the Jubilee of 75 years of its first church in November last year which also attended by Nuncio Apostolic to Indonesia Archibishop Mgr. Leopoldo Girelli. According to Father Marianus Manse, the parish priest, the parish have thus far contributed 3 of its best son become the diocese priests.

Although the Indonesian Moslem make up more than 80% of the total population but there are few provinces such as North Sulawesi, Central Kalimantan and Papua where the Christian outnumber the Moslems. Indonesian constitution grants freedom of choice of faith and religion and adopts equal treatment, rights and obligations to all of its citizens.

Happy Easter...

Selamat Paskah....

All Photos by: Yuli Seperi

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