Religions for Peace Indonesia Chapter Report 2015-2016

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            There are 6 (six) serious problems that are currently trending topics in Indonesia. These problems are: 1) religious intolerance that began to develop into radicalism to extremism and terrorism. This situation has even entered into the schools and campuses[1]; 2) the issue of managing religious differences (intra and inter), which include the issue of Freedom of Religion and Belief. For example, there are still emerging cases of difficulty in obtaining permission to build a house of worship, closure and cessation of forced religious activities, not only among Christians but also Muslims, Buddhist, even that is developing now is “destructive solidarity,” in defense of “the same” religious groups (individual or groups of the same religion-who are victims, may retaliate against any individual or group of the actors, though located in different areas); 3) corruption, which is perpetrated by the elite government (executive, legislative, judicative), increasingly and transparently; 4) Drugs, not only among young people, college/university students, but also of the elite ranks of the government and the Indonesian National Army forces and police; 5) Violence among school children caused by the negative influence of social media; and, finally, 6) Environment, in particular massive deforestation and declining clean and potable water resources.

            These issues must have underlying causes beyond mere socio-cultural phenomena in general. They indicate fundamental questions that need to be answered and require fundamental solutions resulting to profound changes and long-term effects. What is that? How to do it? For example, what are the effects in public life of the demographic changes in one particular area. How does it impact the dynamics of religious and ethnic diversities? How to manage religious and ethnic diversity? Those are the things that need to be pursued, not only by the Government, but also by the various stakeholders such as schools, universities, as well as NGOs like the Institute for Interfaith Dialogue in Indonesia (Interfidei), Religious Organizations like Indonesian Committee of Religions and Peace (I Com-RP), and Indonesian Conference of Religions and Peace (Icon-RP).

         The Religions for Peace Indonesia chapter organized various activities to promote peace, harmony, human rights and justice. However, the Chapter is not yet fully engaged with the identified problems mentioned above in a comprehensive manner. But there are activities implemented which are preventive, anticipatory as well as settlement or in support of pocarried out respectively, both as prevention, anticipatory as well as the settlement or the nature of support for the solution of the problems.

The activities of each institution throughout 2015 are as follows:

1. Indonesian Conference of Religions and Peace (ICON-RP). In addition to the regular activities such as group discussions, seminars and conferences about the key issues in Indonesia with various circles of different religions, including the State’s “unrecognized” religions. In these activities, Icon-RP often involved in the Coalition of Pluralism Movement in Indonesia to fight for their rights as “religious minorities.” Now, Icon-RP together with several other institutions are preparing a draft of legislation on ‘religious freedom’ that will be proposed to the Government (executive and/or legislative). In addition, Icon-RP also has produced a module on Religious School activities, which is usually held every month in Icon-RP office in Jakarta. This program is usually cooperated with the Islamic State University in Jakarta and other network of Icon-RP.

2.  Indonesian Committee of Religions and Peace (ICOM-RP). Through the Center for Dialogue and Cooperation among Civilizations (CDCC) and FKKI (a Christian Community Forum in Indonesia, which is organized by Mr. Theophilus Bela), ICOM-RP conducted various local and international discussions, conference and seminars with various religions involving leaders and youth.

3.  Institute for Interfaith Dialogue in Indonesia (Interfidei). The Year 2016 is the 25th Year of Interfidei (1991-2016, August 10th). Throughout 2015, Interfidei implemented activities based on two objectives: a) How to bridge the differences that exist among religions (intra and inter- including theological matters), so that the difference is not a catastrophe but positive power for the life of people and for the nation? b) How can religions—being brave and positively critical— can accomplish its “calling” to create a life that is fair, true, peaceful and civilized in the midst of challenges and ongoing threats faced by the nation? With these concerns, Interfidei organized various activities in some areas. First, in the field of informal education. There are several models, among other things: learn to manage the differences (stereotyping, dialogue), learn to conduct a social analysis, human rights, investigation, advocacy and journalistic writing. There are three target groups: Youth (student activist); Teachers of Religion and Civic Education; as well as the head of the Community-based Religious Leaders. Also, in 2015 Interfidei continued the program on Interfaith School. This year is already the 7th year. This program has been implemented in cooperation with 3 (three) Religious based Universities (Protestant/UKDW, Catholic/USD, Islam/UIN). This activity is usually followed by students from other universities, too. The theme of last year’s program was “Religions and Disability Issues in Indonesia.”  Besides, Interfidei are promoting various advocacy works in coalition with Indonesia Interfaith Network and the local network level. Advocacies deal with problems of discrimination in the field of Freedom of Religion and Belief, problems of violence by the intolerant groups. Interfidei organizes Seminars, Conferences, FGD on different issues such as Environment, Drugs, LGBT, etc. In carrying out various activities such as those mentioned above, Interfidei is always working in collaboration with various stakeholders, including the Religious Institutions and the Government, local or national, Police Institution, etc. Interfidei also carry out capacity building activities of the interfaith network, publications (books and NL), social media (website, facebook and twitter) as well as it continues to support the activities of Religious Leaders in Papua and the Papua Peace Network for Papua, Land of Peace. The details of the activities can be read, for example in Newsletter, July-December 2015 (attached).


         Indeed, Religions for Peace Chapter Indonesia has never been implementing activities, which is designed and implemented jointly by the three institutions, but in each, the activities above is always carried out, with the hope that all relevant to the vision and mission of ACRP.

         Our report therefore, may be an inspiration and encouragement to all of you, as our partner inAsia.

Religions for Peace Indonesia

            – Indonesian Committee of Religions and Peace (ICOM-RP), Jakarta
            – Indonesian Conference of Religions and Peace (Icon-RP), Jakarta
            –    Institute for Interfaith Dialogue in Indonesia (Interfidei), Jogjakarta


[1] The results of collaborative research Ministry of Religion of the three provinces in Java: East Java, Central Java and Yogyakarta in 2016 – not including West Java, the province’s most intolerant in Indonesia, according to research by The Wahid Institute 2014, Jakarta. Also the study of Interfidei from the information of the teachers, who are teaching Religions and Civic Education in Schools in different provinces. They all were as participants in different kind of workshops, done by Interfidei.