Five Countries Hold Interfaith Workshop in Jakarta

Jakarta, MINA – More than 65 religious leaders and policymakers from five countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar and Sri Lanka) attended an interfaith workshop to discuss Muslim-Buddhist relations in South and Southeast Asia.

The event was organized by the International Dialogue Center (KAICIID) based in Vienna, Austria and the Islamic Cooperation Organization (OKI) and also in collaboration with the Center for Dialogue and Cooperation between Indonesian Civilizations (CDCC) on 18-19 December in Jakarta.

The workshop with the theme “Fostering inter-religious and intra-religious dialogue to prevent and reduce conflicts in South and Southeast Asia” was attended by the Secretary-General of KAICIID Faisal bin Muammar and KAICIID Advisors, Din Syamsuddin and Hidayat Nur Wahid.

The organization of the event is based on intra and interreligious dynamics in South and Southeast Asia which have become increasingly problematic over the past decade. Increased intolerance, whether between ethnic or religious groups, has caused divisions.

For this reason, the workshop aims to provide a platform for dialogue and various experiences between religious leaders and policymakers to solve various problems, including conflicts caused by hate speech.

“If we want to counter the effects of intolerance, which has become an alarming trend not only here in Southeast Asia, but also throughout the world, we must focus on the need to integrate various ideologies, different ways of life and different religions,” said Faisal.

The main topics discussed during the workshop included the role of religious leaders in detecting hate and sedition sentiments, protection of holy sites, and various challenges related to inclusiveness in education.

Meanwhile, Debbie Affianty, a dialogue participant from PP Muhammadiyah said for two days, the dialogue between religious leaders focused on three aspects.

“The focus of this workshop is to prevent utterances of hatred, build inclusive education, and protect places of worship of each religion,” Debbie said as a guest speaker at a press conference in Jakarta, Thursday.

Debbie explained that the workshop had an idea, each of the leaders of Buddhism and Islam needed to have a dialogue to prevent conflict or friction beneath their society.

“Later, it is hoped that there will be actions at the national level in each country, there are Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar and Sri Lanka,” he said.

The outcome of the workshop was that each of the five countries formulates five steps within their country and two steps were proposed to the regional level in both South and Southeast Asia. (T/Sj/P2)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)