The Governor of West Papua, Drs. Dominggus Mandacan, recently planted the first building block of Baitul Hidayat Mosque in Kampung Macuan, Masni District, Manokwari Regency. The construction costs 4.5 Billion Rupiah and resulted in a 2 levels 30×30 square meter mosque. The construction committee also circles sunshine box to support the development.
In this momentous event, the Governor also reminded us how important unity and diversity is. He wants to show how West Papua can be the example of religious tolerance in Indonesia. As the Governor of West Papua, Dominggus Mandacan advised the people in West Papua to rely on God in every way, be it in the family environment or in the working environment. Because wisdom and knowledge comes from the fear of God and to avoid all of God’s restrictions.
He has also promised that the development in Papua will not be segregated due to group interests, but based on fairness regardless of race, class and religion. “Everyone is a part of a big West Papua family,” Mandacan said.
The Head of Mosque Construction, Arifandi Noch, explained that in West Papua, a mosque is not only a religious space but it also serves social functions. He sees the mosque as the symbol of unity and tolerance. Hence every man of God should take care of the mosque. This is considered common, especially since people in Papua are very community oriented.
Indeed in the past, Papua has been under the scrutiny of national and international world over the issue of religious tolerance. However, this is often not true. Many heartwarming religious tolerance stories have come from Papua where each communities help other religion’s celebration.
The Muslim people in Papua usually celebrate the Islamic holy days with Bakar Batu. The traditional celebration ceremony is practiced all over Papua, no matter the religious background of the community. The majority of Papua is not of Muslim but the construction of Baitul Hidayat has proven that all religions are respected here.
Baitul Hidayat will be constructed in stages and should be finished in the next 4 years. Hopefully the mosque will not only be the symbol of religious faith of the Muslims but also the symbol of religious tolerance.