ASIA/INDONESIA-The Day for interreligious dialogue in Semarang has been established
Semarang (Agenzia Fides) - Dialogue among religions "is a challenge and an opportunity to create peace and harmony in Indonesia": So says His Exc. Mgr. Johannes Pujasumarta, Archbishop of the diocese of Semarang and Secretary General of the Episcopal Conference of Indonesia, describing to Fides the initiative lived in his diocese: a special Day of interreligious dialogue, celebrated yesterday, January 22, on the Sunday that falls during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
The Archbishop announced the establishment of the Day in a pastoral Letter published in early 2012 entitled "The Church, reality which is significant through ecumenical and interreligious dialogue", which was meditated on in parishes and associations during the Week.
The purpose of the "Sunday of Dialogue", which saw celebrations and joint meetings among believers of different faiths (Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, animists) is to announce to others, explains the Letter, that "the Kingdom of God is near" and it is an announcement of "justice, peace and harmony", which were "sometimes present sometimes absent in Indonesian history". The dialogue, the Archbishop explains, is "a challenge that should attract more the attention of the people of good will", to spread harmony and peace in society. To achieve this goal, the Archdiocese is undertaking projects to develop "a common practice of dialogue, so as to give a clear orientation of the diocese", said to Fides Father Aloysius Budi Purnomo , the Executive Secretary of the Commission for Interreligious Dialogue of the Archdiocese of Semarang.
In implementing this initiative, the Archbishop of Semarang welcomed a proposal by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, who has asked the Indonesian Church to dedicate to interreligious dialogue a Sunday in the liturgical calendar year. The Archbishop of Semarang began this practice in his diocese, and this could be a good example to follow by other dioceses in Indonesia and other countries in the world. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 23/01/2012)
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