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The following was written by Peggy Fletcher Stack for the Salt Lake Tribune. To read the full article, click here.
Mormonism is barely a speck of paint on the tableau of faith in Indonesia, the most populous Muslim nation on the planet.
The LDS Church has about 7,300 members in a population that tops 260 million and includes small minorities of Hindus, Buddhists and Christians.
But for second-generation Mormon Jemmy Mongan, an LDS public affairs official in Jakarta, that minuscule presence is his whole world — one that fits comfortably within an overwhelmingly Islamic nation that he sees as a model of religious tolerance.
In fact, Jakarta’s biggest mosque was designed by a Christian and sits across the street from a Catholic cathedral, where the two share parking spaces. Headscarves on Muslim women are optional so many, but not all, wear them. Few don full-body burqas.
More than 100 ethnic groups coexist, mostly in peace, in a diverse land of rainforests, volcanoes, rice paddies and unceasing traffic jams. Conversion from one faith to another is allowed.
Indonesian Muslims, Mongan insists, are not Arab Muslims.
The Utah-based LDS Church has partnered with some of Indonesia’s largest Muslim organizations to provide humanitarian relief — from renovating public restrooms and showers in Islamic schools to repainting mosques.
To read the full article, click here.