In his first pastoral letter of this year, His Excellency Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo of Jakarta, Indonesia, declared 2018 as the “Year of Unity”. The pastoral letter has also mentioned the need for Catholics to strengthen national unity despite their differences, including the political ones. The three page pastoral letter will be read out during Sunday Masses on January 6-7 in all parishes and as a part of the declaration, the archdiocese is launching an image of Our Lady of All Ethnicities as a symbol of unity.

As reported by, His Grace Archbishop Ignatius remarked that “In 2018, we want to have a deep understanding of the state philosophy’s third principle- national unity- through a slogan ‘We are Diverse, We are Indonesia.’” Further, His Excellency Archbishop added, “We hope the image of Our Lady of All Ethnicities will make us realize that brotherhood, togetherness and unity within the Church and the society are god’s blessings we must continue to ask for in our prayers and to materialize in our endeavors.”

Indonesia will hold regional elections in at least 17 provinces, 39 municipalities and 115 districts in June.