Indonesian Bishops in a pastoral message at the end of the annual meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia, emphasized the need for Catholics to help protect the country’s secular principles by engaging in social bonding activities and dialogue with people of other faiths. The Bishops also warned of a possible repeat of sectarian conflicts during upcoming elections in June 2018 and the presidential election in May 2019 and called for dialogue to minimize this threat.

As reported by, in a statement issued at the end of their meeting at the Indonesian Bishops Conference office in Jakarta, remarked that “Dialogue is important to get to know each other, to get rid of all suspicions and to fight religious fanaticism and dialogue can knock down separating walls and build a bridge of friendship to create a true brotherhood that leads to a peaceful life.”

The bishops’ message aimed to promote national unity and address rising incidents of radicalism and intolerance, including acts of terrorism that they said have exposed deep divisions in Indonesian society. The use of negative elections also drew the bishops’ attention.