Semarang (Agenza Fides) – Get to know each other, share experiences, pray together and invoke harmony and peace in Indonesia: with this spirit young people of all religious communities came together in recent days at High School in Kopeng, Salatiga, near Semarang, in central Java, according to a program called "Pondok Damai" ("House of peace") which brings together students from all backgrounds, culture and religion to share and compare their personal religious experiences.
As reported to Fides by the Indonesian News service "Pen @Katolik", the meeting was attended by young Catholics, Protestants, Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims, excited to learn about the traditions of other religions. Pondok Damai is a program which started in Semarang in 2007 by Protestant Pastor Rev. Rony Chandra Kristantoro who collaborates with the Institute of Social and Religious Studies to create inter-religious activities followed by young people of various religions. So far "Pondok Damai" has been organized in various cities and towns in the Central Java region.
Lukas Awi Tristanto, member of the Commission for Inter-religious dialogue and Ecumenical Affairs of the Archdiocese of Semarang, appreciating the initiative remarked: "Dialogue is a way of coexistence and a style of relationship between people of different religions. Therefore I hope that young people not only continue to meet in such initiatives, but also make a further step forward, through dialogue and joining their energies for peace, justice and freedom". (PCP-PA) (Agenzia Fides 23/02/2016)