Indonesia's new religious affairs minister leads with a moderate voice

Muslim cleric Yaqut Cholil Qoumas was named the new religious affairs minister and has indicated a more equal treatment of religious communities. PHOTO: REUTERS
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SINGAPORE - Indonesian President Joko Widodo's quest for a charismatic and moderate religious affairs minister may have finally come to a successful end with the appointment of Muslim cleric Yaqut Cholil Qoumas.

On Christmas Eve, just a day after the 45-year-old was sworn in into the Cabinet in a major reshuffle, he made a rousing speech filled with warmth and humanity, wishing Christians Merry Christmas and mentioning Jesus Christ by name.

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