Serang, CNN Indonesia —
Halson pointed out that the regent of Lebak Iti Octavia had never banned it. He also dismissed the notion that Iti Octavia was intolerant, as the rumors have been circulating.
“I was the secretary of the Inter-Church Cooperation Agency for 22 years. We think this news is strange, because all this time the regent of Lebak, especially Mrs. Iti, always has Christmas with us,” he said when contacted on Monday (12/19).
Halson said Iti also plans to attend the Christmas celebration in Rangkasbitung district on December 27.
“It means boron forbids it, joins, greets Christians at Christmas, right,” Halson said.
He explained that tolerance in Lebak’s regency has been relatively high. There are no obstacles as long as the worship is done by the community in churches, monasteries and mosques.
During his time in Lebak’s regency, Halson admitted that he was never banned from worshiping or celebrating Christmas.
“I’ve been in Rangkas for 32 years, this is the first time it’s a little strange, maybe someone is twisting it. (there is a ban on Christmas worship) we strongly deny, he also stated his presence (Christmas together) ,” he explained.
Halson also invited the Christians of Citra Maja Raya Housing to experience Christmas together in the Lebak regency church.
This is because a church where Christians can celebrate Christmas together has not yet been built in the district of Maja.
Even so, there is a fellowship of Christians at the Citra Maja Raya Housing Complex. Halson invited the company to pray and celebrate Christmas together at Lebak church to make it more lively.
“So we open the door for Christians to spend Christmas together, that’s why we also call it Christmas with Lebak Christians,” Halson said.
Earlier, Lebak Regent Iti Octavia Jayabaya also gave an explanation. Iti explained that the appeal to Christians to celebrate Christmas in churches in the Rangkasbitung area was not to ban them from celebrating Christmas in Lebak.
According to him, there is no church in the Maja area until now. Therefore, so far many Christian residents worship in homes and shops.
“Actually, the developers themselves opposed this usage, because the shops and houses became private property. So, in response to that, we have to take the first precautions, so the Ministry of Religion facilitated it with FKUB and BKSAG Lebak Regency,” he said.
“So this must have an environmental permit, where the designation is for shophouses and settlements that are not permitted by law, the permits must be appropriate,” Iti added.