Java, Oct 3: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma is among Indians attending the first Indonesia–India Interfaith Dialogue
“Indonesia – India Interfaith Dialogue has the potential to emerge as an effective forum to nurture peace and harmony not only in the two countries but also in the region and in the world,” Sangma told the three-day program being held in the Indonesian island of Java.
The Indian team is led by Minister of State of External Affairs M.J Akbar.
Sangma also said that all religions are based on peace for all mankind and that it is a crime against God to use religion as a platform to incite hate, conflict, violence, war or terrorism.
The Meghalaya chief minister also expressed concern at the global trend towards insularity and felt that this could lead to greater social tensions and strife in the world.
The dialogue aims to promote pluralism and eradicate radicalism. The three-day program comprises a forum discussion, visit to places of worship and dialogues between Hindu, Islamic, Christian and Buddhist religious leaders of both India and Indonesia.
During the program, the members held discussion on the theme – “Sharing of Best Practices, Lessons Learnt and Way Forward” at Yogyakarta, a city in Java Island.
The Indonesian delegation is led by Vice Foreign Minister of Foreign Affairs A M Fachir.
The program is the outcome of talks between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s talks with Indonesian President Joko Widodo earlier this year. The two leaders had agreed to organize the Interfaith Dialogue in Indonesia, which will be followed by a similar dialogue in India in 2019 to promote pluralism and eradicate radicalism.
It is being held as an innovative mechanism to promote pluralism and tolerance, and to provide a platform for Indonesian and Indian religious scholars, youth and civil society leaders to join hands in improving relations across religions and cultures, combat prejudice, tackle radicalism and build conducive conditions for long-term peace, the statement said.
The participants will visit Prambanam and Borobodur Temples, along with Zen Ling Gong Temple, Huria Kristen Batak Protestan Church, Santo Antonius Catholic Church and Syuhada Mosque in Yogyakarta, a statement by Indian Embassy in Indonesia said.