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Indonesia on alert ahead of Christmas observance

Police will be implementing extra security measures to ensure people will be able to enjoy the year-end holidays

The Indonesian government has limited access to celebrations ahead of Christmas and has banned the setting up of traditional tents used by the faithful during Masses outside churches.

A report on AsiaNews said the Ministry for Religious Affairs, however, announced that places of worship can be filled to 100 percent capacity alsthough additional seats under the awnings “will be strictly prohibited.”

Police will be implementing extra security measures to ensure people will be able to enjoy the year-end holidays, said a report on the online news site Tempo.

The report said the main concern of authorities are traffic safety, potential terrors, incidents of intolerance, theft, and natural disasters.

A giant Christmas tree has been lit up in Jakarta this week ahead of the Christmas celebrations. The city is also being decorated with lights and Christmas wreaths, said a report from Xinhua.

Susyana Suwadie, spokesperson of the Jakarta Cathedral, said the preparations for Christmas has been finalized.

In 2021, the Jakarta Cathedral allowed physical attendance for Christmas Mass under strict health protocol because of the pandemic.

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Police announced that they will provide security at 1,385 churches during Christmas.

The move is part of the implementation of the Lilin Jaya 2022 Operation, which will commence on December 23, 2022, until January 2, 2023.

The Metro Jaya Police will mobilize 7,421 personnel, and establish 97 security outposts and 38 service outposts.

In addition to churches, several possible gathering areas and tourism sites will also be monitored. The police are preparing to anticipate massive public gatherings and traffic, said a Tempo report.

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