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Catholic layman makes his mark in Indonesian politics

One man's mission to see more Catholics in positions of influence to serve the nation

Catholic layman makes his mark in Indonesian politics

Yohanes Handoyo Budhisejati (right) receives an award from the Union of Christian Media Journalists for encouraging Catholics to actively participate in socio-political issues on Nov. 10 in Jakarta. (Photo courtesy of the Union of Christian Media Journalists)

 

The slogan “100 percent Catholic and 100 percent Indonesian,” introduced by Jesuit Father Albertus Soegijapranata — the first native Indonesian bishop — is rooted deep into the heart of Yohanes Handoyo Budhisejati, a 64-year-old layman.

It inspired him on March 12, 2016, to establish an organization called Vox Point Indonesia, the only Catholic group producing Catholic politicians in the country.

“I was concerned about the low number of Catholics in legislatures at national, regional and local levels. It was because there were no ongoing, systematic activities addressing political issues among Catholics, which meant many lacked national insights,” Handoyo says.

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“Catholics became apolitical after Ignatius Joseph Kasimo Hendrowahyono’s era. They thought politics was a dirty business. I wanted to change that way of thinking."

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