ASIA/INDONESIA - Muslims and Christians together for respect, tolerance and coexistence

Monday, 30 October 2017 religious freedom   religious minorities   islam   christianity   extremism   human rights   dialogue  

Jakarta (Agenzia Fides) - "In Indonesia, Muslims and Christians actively collaborate in building a social and cultural fabric of respect and coexistence through education, particularly in family life", says to Agenzia Fides Siti Musdah Mulia, Muslim leader, and Indonesian women's rights activist. "This commitment, linked to the culture of peace, respect, tolerance, and inclusive relationships among different religious communities, cannot be provoked in a spontaneous manner in society. It has to be coordinated through an educational system", said Mulia, president of an Indonesian Conference on Religion for Peace and an Islamic Political Doctrine professor at "Syarif Hidayatullah" State Islamic University in Jakarta.
"Muslims and Christians are involved in the law reform in the Country. We have to reform some of the laws and public policies that do not promote the establishment of peace and justice, as well as the defense of democracy and human rights", continues the scholar, speaking to Fides.
"Muslims and Christians are already collaborating to improving and promoting religious interpretations in a peaceful way and to promoting harmony", she added. "We must propose and disseminate interpretations of the religious text that are genuinely human and that are favorable to building a culture of peace, justice and the defense of human rights. Frankly, widespread and widely-used interpretation in a part of the Islamic community is by no means compatible with the principles of human rights, particularly with women's rights and gender equality", Mulia said.
The scholar witnesses the great contribution made by Christianity in Indonesia through the culture and transformation of the nation into a more civilized Indonesia. In the Country with the greatest Muslim presence in the world, "the Christian teaching of loving each other is a strong foundation for the nation, for the maintenance of social peace and for the creation of a solid civilization", she observes. "Christians throughout Indonesia, through their various religious organizations, are also actively involved in the nation's development", she said.
The Indonesian Conference on Religions for Peace, of which Mulia is at the head since 2007, is an interreligious organization that exists since the '90s. Representatives of different religions have alternated within the main committee of this institution, including Christians, both Catholic and Protestant. "We actively promote peace through the cooperation of all religious congregations. This is because we are convinced that all religions have a common enemy, that is, injustice", she said.
Islam reached Indonesia in the 14th century, while Hinduism and Buddhism were already present in the country. Christianity came in the 16th century with Dutch and Portuguese colonialism. Today, the Christian population in Indonesia has about 30 million people; equal to the total population of Malaysia, and is seven times the population of Singapore. There are 243 million inhabitants in Indonesia: nearly 200 million are Muslims, equal to 80% of the total population. (SD/AP) (Agenzia Fides 30/10/2017)


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