Indonesian govt to change nomenclature for Christian holidays

Jakarta (ANTARA) – The Indonesian government will no longer use “Isa Almasih” to refer to Christian holidays and replace it with “Yesus Kristus” (Jesus Christ) instead, a minister said on Tuesday.

The government currently uses “Isa Almasih” (The Messiah), an Islamic name adopted from Arabic to refer to Jesus Christ.

The nomenclature is used for three national holidays related to Christianity — Good Friday, the Ascension of Christ, and Christmas.

These Christian holidays have thus far been referred to as the Death of Isa Almasih, the Ascension of Isa Almasih, and the Birth of Isa Almasih.

“There will be a change in the nomenclature (about the names of the holidays) as proposed by the Religious Affairs Ministry,” Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture, Muhadjir Effendy, said.

“The name ‘Isa Almasih’ will be changed to ‘Yesus Kristus,’” he stated.

Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs, Saiful Rahmat Dasuki, said that the change in nomenclature was requested by Indonesian Christians.

“They want a change in the nomenclature to reflect their faith, using ‘Jesus Christ’ in the commemoration of his birth, death, and ascension,” he stated.

Earlier, the government had determined 27 national holidays and joint leave days in 2024.

The decision was laid down in a joint decree that was signed by Minister of Manpower, Ida Fauziyah; Minister of State Apparatus Empowerment and Bureaucratic Reform, Abdullah Azwar Anas; and Minister of Religious Affairs, Yaqut Cholil Quomas.

The 27 holidays comprise 17 national holidays and 10 days of joint leave.

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