The Council of Protestant Church

and Catholic Church in Indonesia

Donate Korans to

the Largest Moslem Organization

(Jakarta, Friday, 13 August 2010) The Communion of Indonesian Churches (PGI) and the Indonesian Bishops` Council (KWI) here have donated Korans for Indonesian citizens arrested in Australia, a spokesman for the two bodies said. About 100 Korans were presented to Indonesia`s second biggest Muslim organization, Muhammadiyah, to be sent to Australia-based churches and then distributed to Indonesian prisoners in that country.

"This activity is part of our actions against the Koran burning plan of a group of people in the United States," Damien Dematra, the nation coordinator of Pluralism Care Movement (GPP) said here on Friday. The reason he was organizing the actions was meant as a protest from Indonesia`s Christian community to the plan of US-based Dove World Outreach Center to burn the Koran in commemorating the September 11, 2001 New York tragedy as well as promoting and symbolize that good old value of tolerance, pluralism, and peace between different religions. He said the Koran burning action in the US was proposed by a priest named Terry Jones but only supported by a small group of people while the majority of Americans had opposed it.

The Koran donation also coincided with a request from a church community in Australia regarding the need for Korans for Indonesian prisoners there.

On the same occasion, Muhammadiyah Chairman, Prof. Dr. Din Syamsuddin, said the Koran donation was a positive symbolization of Indonesia as a community consisting of many religions and races. "The donation reflects an appreciation for things considered holy by other religions," Din said adding that burning the holy book of a particular religion could not be tolerated because it was against any religion`s teachings. He called on all Indonesians not to be influenced by the planned Koran burning in the US.

Few days before, on the 4 August 2010, the Pluralism Care Movement together with many religious and community leaders, and artists had declared a Statement against the campaign and plan of Dove World Outreach Center, held in The Communion of Indonesian Churches (PGI). They stated that the plan was clearly abusive actions toward Islam, a violation towards freedom of religion as well as towards International Declaration about Human Rights.

On Monday, 9 August 2010, Damien Dematra, Bishop Mandagi, Head of Indonesian Bishops` Council (KWI), Rev. Henry Lokra, Head of Bureau Communication of PGI, and Dr. Abdul Mu'ti from Muhammadiyah had given the statement to US Embassy. The Statement was accepted by the Political Counselor. They said, "We are deeply concern, and many Americans of all faiths disagree with the initiative. We are very pleased to receive this letter and the communication from the Indonesian religious leaders."

On Wednesday, 11 August 2010, Damien launched and published a novel, written in two days, with title "You Burn, I Burn" held in Indonesian Bishops' Council (KWI). He said that the main purpose of this novel was to fight and prevent the "International Burn Quran Day" through culture and literature communication. The novel will be translated in English.

The novel was reviewed by KH. Slamet Effendy Yusuf, Head of Ulama Council and Nahdlatul Ulama, the biggest organization Muslim, and Priest Benny Susetyo, the secretary of KWI, along with Dorce Gamalama, an Indonesian senior artist. In the novel was inserted an open letter from Damien to Pastor Terry Jones, he had posted in youtube, as well as the statement from the Head of Ulama Council. Their statements can be viewed in and they can be used for press purposes.

Pictures posted in this web can also be used for press purpose.

Further about Pluralism Care Movement can be viewed in: