MUHAMMADIYAH.OR.ID, JAKARTA—A term “Kristen Muhammadiyah/Krismuha” (Muhammadiyah Christians) has gone viral. Affirming this viewpoint, Abdul Mu’ti, the General Secretary of Muhammadiyah, firmly asserted that it is a sociological phenomenon and does not refer to the fusion of theological aspects. It refers to the closeness between Christians and Muhammadiyah instead of the merging of Muhammadiyah’s beliefs with Christianity.
“Kristen Muhammadiyah represents a sociological variation that portrays Christians and Catholics who sympathize with and have a close relationship with Muhammadiyah,” said Mu’ti on Monday (29/5).
They are not official members of Muhammadiyah. They steadfastly uphold their Christian values and beliefs. Consequently, the concept of Kristen Muhammadiyah does not involve a theological merger between Muhammadiyah and Christianity; instead, it refers to Muhammadiyah sympathizers who are Christians.
“They are not Muhammadiyah members. They remain faithful followers of Christianity and Catholicism, diligently practicing their religious teachings. Kristen Muhammadiyah is not religious syncretism that individuals blend Christian/Catholic teachings with Islam (Muhammadiyah),” said Mu’ti.
The Christians’ closeness and sympathy towards Muhammadiyah emerge from their experiences of interacting with Muhammadiyah members and gaining an understanding of Muhammadiyah during their studies at Muhammadiyah educational institutions. Over time, Muhammadiyah’s social and community establishments have extended their reach to areas where Islam is in the minority. The phenomenon of Kristen Muhammadiyah highlights the role of Muhammadiyah’s education in fostering interfaith harmony and national unity.
“They remain steadfast as Christians or Catholics because they took courses of Christian/Catholic studies taught by Christian/Catholic teachers, as regulated by Law Number 20/2003 on the National Education System,” said Mu’ti, a Professor of Islamic Education at the UIN Syarif Hidayatullah.