Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Source: AFP/VNA)
 
Jakarta (VNA) – Indonesian President Joko Widodo has promised to increase pay for religious counsellors.

He made the statement when meeting with around 5,000 religious counsellors in Semarang, Central Java recently. The pay rise will be given to religious counsellors who have been hired by the Religious Affairs Ministry on a contractual basis.

According to the ministry, of 81,000 religious counsellors, 45,000 are hired by the government on a contractual basis.

The President voiced his hope the pay will be doubled this year or next year. He said that he would talk to the regional legislative councils regarding the matter.

He said every time he met other country leaders, he always heard praise for Indonesia’s unity, stressing that religious counsellors play the key role in Indonesia’s unity.

Indonesia’s Religious Affairs Ministry currently employs religious counsellors for the six religions recognised by the nation, namely Islam, Christianity, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism.

With more than 17,000 islands, Indonesia has a population of 250 million of over 700 tribes, 1,100 local dialects and countless traditions. The country is an example of a moderate Muslim society and the example of the success of unity in diversity, Widodo said.-VNA