Indonesia gives meaning to religious harmony

Luciman Zenan left his home far away and travelled for two whole days and has now arrived in Jakarta.  This Muslim school boy is now living with a Christian family.  The reason for this is due to steps taken through a new programme to promote unity among people groups and to understand the religious faith of other people.  Indonesia is a large country, she says, and there are many nationalities living there that have various religious beliefs.  Because there are many types of faith within the different cultures that differ from region to region it is important to understand them to achieve religious harmony.

10 students belonging to different religious faiths were brought to one place and given an opportunity to understand the faiths of different people groups.  They have two weeks for this purpose and during this time they learn about religious harmony through many activities.  They are also taught about leadership and its related activities through this programme.

During the past Indonesia has seen a huge growth in religious tension and the greatest increase has been the persecution of Christians.  Luciman has come from North Malaku where fighting between Muslims and Christians is a serious issue.  According to him they were told not to associate with Christians when he was attending Primary school.  The reason given was that Christians will set fire to the homes of Muslim people.  After leaving his home town he said that they were taught that it was not possible for people of different faiths and different nationalities could not live together.  It is said that unity is promoted through activities such as when all the children are made to sit together at mealtimes.  It is believed by everyone that this programme is a successful practical programme through which religious co-existence can be experienced in a practical manner.

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