National Declaration by The Indonesian Network of Christian Student Fellowships (JPMKI)

Indonesia has since the days of its ancestors inherited the spirit of bhinneka or diversity. Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity), a concept extracted from the Book of Sutasoma by Mpu Tantular, clearly implies the workings of the principle and ethos of diversity that the nation is endowed with.

The concept of bhinneka, however, has yet to be fully understood as an idea and action-guiding ideal. Diversity and plurality have yet to be regarded as rightful blessings from the Almighty God. Various cases of discrimination against minority groups, indications of radicalism, and attempts to introduce radicalism into campus life have been reported.

In 2011, the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) published a report citing about the increase of radicalism in a number of reputable higher education institutions in Indonesia. A study by the Maarif Institute in 2013 confirmed LIPI’s findings. University campuses have become a fertile environment for proponents of radicalism. They target university students, young people among whom many are still naive, in their psychological phase of searching for their identity and lacking strong religious understanding.

Higher education institutions must therefore have a vision to uphold the unity of Indonesia by reinforcing the concept of nationhood and diversity among students. Students must and can safeguard the sense of nationhood and diversity in the entire NKRI (Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia). More is thus expected from Christian students, who, for they know about God’s love, should stand up as role models in upholding the principles of diversity, anti-discrimination, and anti-radicalism.

In line with the perspective and attitude above, the Association of Christian Universities and Colleges in Indonesia (BK-PTKI) and the Christian Student Fellowship of Harapan Bangsa Institute of Technology (Persekutuan Mahasiswa Harapan Bangsa), deemed it important to form an umbrella body or a network of Christian students to build a solid unified vision among students as future leaders who will to take up the responsibility of maintaining the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI) in accordance with the five principles of Pancasila, the 1945 Constitution and the Bhinneka Tunggal Ika motto. Aware of the importance of this, BK-PTKI thus viewed it necessary to hold a meeting of PK-PTKI board members from all institutions under its coordination and those of other non-PK-PTKI institutions that would very likely support the cause, in the hope of developing a network of Christian students’ fellowship in the entire Indonesia.

Taking place on Saturday, 17 March 2018 from 08:30 to 16.30 Western Indonesia Time at ITHB Assembly Hall, 5th Floor, Jalan Dipatiukur No. 80 – 84 Bandung, West Java, the meeting proceeded with addresses by several national and Christian leaders, such as Rev. Dr. Nus Reimas and Dr (H.C.) Jonathan Limbong Parapak, M.Eng.Sc., and a service observed by all participants from the Indonesian Network of Christian Student Fellowships, who were determined to realize a diverse, equal, just and prosperous Indonesia.

The meeting was attended by over 300 PMK representatives from ITB, UPI, UGM, IPB, UNPAD, UNNES, Sebelas Maret University, Duta Wacana Christian University, Satya Wacana Christian University, National Institute of Technology Malang, Yogyakarta State University, UNLA, Jakarta Theological Seminary (STT Jakarta), Krida Wacana Christian University, Veteran National Development University (UPN Veteran) Yogyakarta and a total 65 campuses from Indonesia’s major islands were represented in the meeting.

Dr. Ir. Paristiyanti Nurwardani, M.P. (Director of Learning, Directorate of Learning and Student Affairs, Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education), who was present on behalf of the minister, expressed her appreciation of the declaration adopted by JKMI, which, she believed, would be a historical milestone of Indonesian unity.

In accordance with the circular of the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education to thwart radicalism and encourage the implementation of the Three Principles of Higher Education with Pancasila as its basis, the Ministry is committed to strengthening the sense of nationhood through general education. JMPKI is recognized as an inseparable part of the Ministry.

The declaration was signed by student representatives from 65 campuses and Rev. Dr. Nus Reimas, Ir. Henry Feriadi, M.Sc., Ph.D., Dr. Ir. Samuel Tarigan, M.B.A., Dr. (H.C.) Jonathan Limbong Parapak, M.Eng.Sc. and Dr. Ir. Budi Setiamarga as witnesses. The declaration expresses as follows:

We, Indonesian Christian students, with blessings of the Almighty God, declare that we are ready:

  1. To defend and develop the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI) towards the creation of a just and prosperous society based on Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution;
  2. To strive for the accomplishment of the future vision of Indonesia that upholds equality, maintains tolerance and rejects radicalism and discrimination that threaten Pancasila, The Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, and Bhinneka Tunggal Ika;
  3. To commit to availing ourselves of the study period at campus as an opportunity to strengthen the awareness of nationhood and to preparing ourselves to be servants of the nation and country who are professional, have noble character and strong Christian faith, and to giving the best for the nation and country and for the glory of God.
  4. To develop an inter-campus Indonesian Network of Christian Student Fellowships (JPMKI) in order to implement the commitment expressed in this declaration and work with other components of the nation to do the utmost we can to accomplish the goals of Indonesia’s independence.

May God help and bless us and the Nation of Indonesia.