Divine Word Father Markus Solo Kewuta. (Photo supplied)
An Indonesian official at the Vatican has stressed the need to educate people better on religious diversity to see the goals set out in a groundbreaking document signed in Abu Dhabi last year by Pope Francis and the grand imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, materialize in Indonesia.Signed on Feb. 4, 2019, the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together “believes firmly that among the most important causes of crises in the modern world are a desensitized human conscience, a distancing from religious values and a prevailing individualism accompanied by materialistic philosophies that deify the human person and introduce worldly and material values in place of supreme and transcendental principle.”According to Divine Word Father Markus Solo Kewuta, who serves on the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, religions serving as “moral machines” for the faithful must offer solutions to problems instead of becoming part of the problems.The priest from Indonesia’s Flores island said at a virtual meeting held on Dec. 19 by Vox Point Indonesia that the document has at least 12 main theses but three of them “are crucial for the country’s future.”“First, there’s an urgent need for education, which is everyone’s right. Education here is a formal and non-formal effort to take the young generation out of spiritual ghettos,” he said, adding that people should know something of other religions, not just their own.
Father Solo’s comments come against a backdrop of rising intolerance in Indonesia fomented by militant groups that are seen by many as trying to dismantle the country’s secular ideology and constitution.