25November2017

Home Editorial The importance of special envoy for religion and civilization

The importance of special envoy for religion and civilization

The Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia -NKRI based on Pancasila, the 1945 Constitution, and Unity in Diversity (Bhinneka Tunggal Ika) is a country which recognizes the plurality of its citizens with different tribes, religions, races, or groups. Specifically about religion, Indonesia officially recognizes the existence of six religions, namely Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. The 1945 Constitution article 29 explicitly states that Indonesia is a country based on the One Supreme God. The state also guarantees the independence of every citizen to embrace his or her own religion and worship according to his or her religion and belief.

Maintaining harmony of religious communities within the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia is absolutely necessary. All religion followers must avoid insulting, harassing, disfiguring, and demeaning any different religions. There are articles about blasphemy in the Indonesian Criminal Law - KUHP to maintain the harmony of religious life and mutual respect for each other. Take for example, the followers of Islam as the largest religion in Indonesia must respect other minority religions and vice versa.

On Monday, October 23, 2017, President Joko Widodo appointed Prof. Din Syamsuddin as the president's special envoy for dialogue and inter-faith cooperation and civilization. The task is aimed at pursuing dialogue and cooperation among civilizations by promoting the culture and life of Indonesian society. Another task is by promoting harmony among religious followers in accordance with Pancasila both in the country and abroad. In regard to this, the religious harmony can be built in Indonesia. In addition, it can also help solve the world’s problems that have something to do with religion, such as Rohingya Muslims, Palestine, and Afghanistan.

                                                                                

In today's global uncertain situation, tensions and even conflicts between religions and civilizations occur everywhere. Indonesia is often asked, even required to be involved. This is in accordance with the message of the Preamble of the 1945 Constitution which states that Indonesia must participate in maintaining the world order, and realizing lasting peace. It is believed that inter-religious harmony among groups in Indonesia can be a good example that needs to be disseminated to the world.

The President advised Prof. Din Syamsuddin as the special envoy of the president for dialogue and interfaith cooperation and civilization to start implementing the tasks across Indonesia. Shortly after the inauguration, Prof. Din Syamsuddin immediately established a dialogue with Christian leaders in the office of the Communion of Churches in Indonesia and met with Chairman of the Indonesian Bishops' Conference.

The role of the president's special envoy for dialogue and cooperation between religions and civilizations is certainly very strategic to pursue the harmony of all religion followers or Ummah. Hopefully, the harmony of religious people in Indonesia based on Pancasila is growing well and peacefully. Communication among religious people can be more intense so that a close relationship is well-established not only in the country, but also abroad.

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