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Interfaith dialogue must foster peace
Forum says unity between religions can be forged by differencesInterfaith forum organized yesterday by Sant'Egidio in Jakarta
- Ryan Dagur, Jakarta
- April 24, 2012
This was the message from the foreign ministers of the two countries at the opening of an interfaith forum yesterday in Jakarta.
Indonesia foreign minister Marty M. Natalegawa said that building bridges of mutual understanding is the best way to foster a global culture of peace.
â€śMessage of peace in interfaith dialogue must echo outside assembly halls,â€ť he said.
Italian foreign minister Guilio Terzi, agreed saying that interfaith dialogue must ensure protection for minority groups.
Government must reach out at the grass roots level and religious leaders must help promote respect towards different religious beliefs, Terzi said.
The forum called Unity in Diversity: The Power of Dialogue for Peaceful Cohabitation in a Pluralistic Society was organized by the Community of Saintâ€™Egidio in cooperation with foreign ministries of the two countries.
The Community of Saintâ€™Egidio is a â€śChurch public lay association.â€ť
The first interfaith forum between Indonesia and Italy was held in Rome in March 2009.
Participants in yesterdayâ€™s dialogue included Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo of Jakarta, Din Syamsuddin, chairman of Indonesiaâ€™s largest Islamic group Muhammadiah, and Santâ€™Egidio president Marco Impagliazzo.
â€śDiscussions, seminars and talk shows are not enough. We must also take part and support all initiatives which promote dialogue,â€ť Archbishop Suharyo said.
Impagliazzo said Saintâ€™Egidio is committed to building peace withÂ other religions in Indonesia.
â€śEthnic, religious even linguistic differences are not considered an obstacle to unity,â€ť he said.
On the contrary, they have become the common ground of an inclusive national ideology that emphasizes the value of living together in unity and diversity, he added.
Adopt a child, says Santâ€™Egidio