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Young people vow to work for tolerance
Understanding other religions can help all live in harmony, say interfaith gatheringInterfaith youths learn from other religions
- Windy Subanto, Padang
- March 29, 2011
Thirty-five young Buddhists, Catholics, Hindus, Muslims and Protestants believe this is an important mission after attending an interfaith forum called: â€śRecognizing the Difference â€“ Improving Tolerance â€“ Creating Peaceâ€ť on March 26-27 in Padang, the provincial capital.
Padang dioceseâ€™s Commission for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs organized the event â€“ the first of its kind in the area Ââ€“ which was also attended by lecturers and students from the Imam Bonjol State Islamic Institute.
During the two-day program, the young people learned about the teachings and rituals of each religion.
â€śNot knowing the teachings of other religions can lead to misunderstandings and wrong perceptions,â€ť said Ahmad Fauzi, a Muslim.
He said events such as this are good ways to counter religious fanaticism.
â€śI learned many things from this program. This sort of thing is unavailable in the institute where I am studying now,â€ť he said.
Anastasia Rilend, a participant from St. Francis of Assisi Church in Padangbaru, agreed.
â€śEach religion teaches its followers how to be tolerant and maintain good relations with others,â€ť she said.
During a speech, the commissionâ€™s head, Father Philips Rusihan Sakti, said he often found inspiration from other religions.
â€śI think noble values in other religions, which can provide inspiration, can be models for our lives. But we must still hold on to our own religious teachings,â€ť he said.
The dioceseâ€™s vicar general also expressed hope that the youths will not only show tolerance with other religious teachings but also unite to solve social problems.
â€śIn order to do this, you need to get to know each other well and without any prejudice,â€ť he told them.