The Indonesian government on February 11 allowed functioning of Hindu and Buddhist religious rituals at the Prambanan temple and Borobudur temple as it restored Asia’s most renowned sacred sites for the religious interests of Hindus and Buddhists in Indonesia and the World. It also officially launched Pawon Temple and Mendut Temple in Central Java as global worship sites for Hindus and Buddhists.
According to the reports, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed at Yogyakarta between the Indonesian government and religious leaders to agree upon functioning of religious rituals based on the main reason for their construction. Borobudur Temple embraces Mahayana Buddhism and was built in the 9th centuries CE during the reign of the Sailendra dynasty. While Prambanan Temple, constructed in the 10th century by the syncretic Hindu-Buddhist Mataram Kingdom, is the largest temple compound dedicated to Shiva in Indonesia.
Adung Abdul Rochman, Religious Affairs Ministry special staff coordinator said during the signing of a MoU in that the four temples have been mostly used for research, culture and tourism. This is after the Indonesian government took into consideration the rise in destruction of religious and cultural sites by the Muslim extremists. The Muslim extremists have destroyed world’s diverse cultural and religious heritages in Middle East, Africa, Europe and also North America.
Reports mention that the temples of Borobudur and Prambanan rest in the cultural heartland of Java. Java reportedly has majority of the Muslim population who tend to embrace humanitarian Islam as a source of universal love and compassion and have protected the pre-Islamic religious sites from the invaders.
Yogyakarta Governor Sultan Hamengku Buwono X meanwhile said that the MoU on temples being regarded as international sites for worship is the actualization of religious moderation, social cohesion, and harmony between religious communities in Indonesia. “The intention arises from the spirit of Oneness Amid Diversity which is Indonesia’s national motto. It is the key to developing a nation whose people value diversity amid the harmonious mosaic of a unified Indonesia”, he was quoted.
The MoU was signed on last week between the religious leaders and the Indonesian government supported by Ministry of Religious Affairs, Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology, State-owned Enterprises (SOEs) Ministry, Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry as well as the Yogyakarta and Central Java provincial governments.