Buddhists pray for peace in Indonesia

Sangha members leading prayers in Medan on 19 November 2016.

Sangha members leading prayers in Medan on 19 November. Photograph courtesy of Jakarta Post.

Jakarta Post reported that around 15,000 followers of all Buddhist sects participated in a joint prayer ceremony in Medan, North Sumatra, on Saturday 19 November.  Dozens of Buddhist monks, members of the House of Representatives and local officials also participated in the event, which aims to invoke blessings for peace in Indonesia.

Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin opened the ceremony on Friday.  He praised the event as “very noble”, as Indonesian Buddhists are sincerely praying for peace and harmony in the country.

“My presence in this event is not only to fulfill their invitation but more importantly, I am here to appreciate this very noble event,” said Lukman.  He added that hopefully, more such prayers will be held by Buddhists in other parts of Indonesia.

Monks praying at Borobudur.

Although Indonesia is a predominantly Muslim country, its Central Government is largely tolerant of minority faiths including Buddhism. Seen here, Ven. Jotidhammo (right) leading Theravada monks in chanting at Borobudur.

Governor of North Sumatra Erry Nuradi also appreciated the Indonesian Buddhist followers’ joint prayer, themed “For My Country, Indonesia”.  He hoped that Indonesia can be safe and peaceful so that the nation can continue to develop well.

Organizing committee chairperson Sutrisno said that after the close of prayer session on Sunday, Buddhist devotees will participate in a blood donation event. “We are holding these events for peace and harmony in Indonesia.”  Sadhu anumodana.