Indonesia Appoints Christian as New National Police Chief of Muslim-Majority Country

President Joko Widodo (right) greets police chief Gen. Listyo Sigit Prabowo during his inauguration ceremony in Jakarta on Jan. 27. (Photo: Presidential Secretariat)

The appointment of a Protestant as Indonesia’s police chief, since his nomination up to his inauguration last week, was surprisingly flawless, without the resistance usually expected from conservative Muslims.

It’s completely different from earlier years, when Christians who were assigned to crucial posts had to face fierce opposition just because of their religious background — sometimes followed by mass protests.

However, this time, not a single protest was aimed at new police chief Gen. Listyo Sigit Prabowo.

Some claimed it was because he’s a policeman. Others counterclaimed that it was rather due to the absence of one of the country’s most notorious groups — the Islamic Defenders Front or FPI.

This group was disbanded at the end of last year. But beforehand it had organized mass protests against Christians appointed to strategic leadership posts, even the lowest rank.

FPI was known for its fearless actions not only against civilians but also against police officers. Claiming that no resistance took place was due to its dismissal by the government sounded plausible.

Prabowo, 52, was sworn in on Jan. 27 as police chief, succeeding Gen. Idham Azis who retired on Feb.1. He is the first Christian to hold the post in nearly 50 years — the third since Indonesia declared independence in August 1945.

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SOURCE: UCA News, Siktus Harson