“The concept for Friday sermons is merely intended to enrich preachers' treasury of knowledge rather than to show excessive fear or paranoia,” special staff member of the Religious Affairs Minister, Kevin Haikal, said in a written statement released on Tuesday.
The template for Friday sermons is meant as an alternative and reference for preachers, and must not be construed as distrust in them, he added.
He said the Religious Affairs Ministry will not make it mandatory for preachers to deliver Friday sermons to congregations like in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
"Religious Affairs Minister Fachrul Razi has stated he does not want to do that in Indonesia. Preachers' room for expression will not be limited," he stressed.
He said the template for Friday sermons will still go through a long phase of study, which will involve ulemas, experts, practitioners, and academics. (INE)
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