Katharina R. Lestari, Jakarta
Updated: July 31, 2020 07:02 AM GMT
A parishioner of Our Lady of the Assumption Cathedral Church in Jakarta washes her hands before entering the church’s complex to attend Sunday Mass on July 12. (Photo: Katharina R. Lestari/UCA News)
Places of worship, including churches, are among new clusters of Covid-19 transmission that have emerged in Indonesia, particularly in capital Jakarta, a top government official has warned.According to Dewi Nur Aisyah, a member of Indonesia’s Covid-19 Task Force, new clusters have emerged in several areas since local authorities began easing social restrictions imposed to combat the Covid-19 pandemic early last month.“There are nine new clusters with 114 confirmed Covid-19 cases. Places of worship are among them,” she said in a video message on July 29.
“This is something we do not want to happen. Since local authorities began to ease social restrictions, the PGI has stressed the need for churches not to rush to reopen. It would be better if Protestants could attend Sunday services at home,” he told UCA News.Churches should review their decisions to reopen, he said. “If they must resume Sunday services, I want them to strictly follow health protocols and to hold short services,” he added.Cardinal Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo of Jakarta responded to the cluster revelation by reminding churches in Jakarta Archdiocese to remain alert.“After obtaining a green light to reopen from local authorities, a parish should obtain approval first from the archdiocese before reopening. The vicar general will then inspect the parish to evaluate its readiness to do so,” he told UCA News.
….as we enter the last months of 2021, we are asking readers like you to help us keep UCA News free.
For the last 40 years, UCA News has remained the most trusted and independent Catholic news and information service from Asia. Every week, we publish nearly 100 news reports, feature stories, commentaries, podcasts and video broadcasts that are exclusive and in-depth, and developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes.
Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to – South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.
And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters who cover 23 countries in south, southeast, and east Asia. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don’t have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.
With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.