Church backs fight against drugs in Indonesian provinces

The Catholic Church is backing efforts to fight drug abuse in Indonesia’s Kalimantan provinces, which has had illicit drugs even spreading into remote areas.

“All the strength of the Catholic Church must be used to support the fight against drug abuse,” said Archbishop Agustinus Agus of Pontianak, based in the capital of West Kalimantan province.

According to Archbishop Agus, a massive movement is needed to tackle drug abuse in the provinces. “And the Catholic Church must take part in it,” he said, adding that the church will offer counselling programs and continually raise awareness about the problem.

Through the use of digital media, drugs have managed to spread into remote areas in Kalimantan, Archbishop Agus told after a meeting of Dayak leaders April 7 in Pontianak.

“Drugs lead their users to doing criminal acts, and this worries local people,” he said.

The Dayak people have traditionally lived in riverside or hilly areas of Borneo, an island which Indonesia shares with Malaysia and Brunei.

Many Dayaks converted to Christianity since the 19th century.

West Kalimantan Governor Cornelis, who is also the chairman of the National Assembly of Dayak Tribes, said that drug trafficking in his province was worse than other Kalimantan province because it borders with Malaysia’s state of Sarawak.

“As a border area, we are prone to drug trafficking. We are also prone to terrorism,” said Cornelis.


Additional reading

News category: Asia Pacific.

Tags: , ,