Camp, Conference Bring Muslim-Buddhist Understanding
It’s long been said that people don’t truly know each other until they travel together. Likewise, few things can foster interreligious understanding and tolerance like a full week at camp together.
As part of its Buddhist-Muslim Dialogue Series in Indonesia, the Centre of Asian Studies (CENAS) organized a seven-day youth camp for young leaders of both communities as well as a national dialogue conference between prominent leaders of both faiths to promote mutual respect and religious diversity.
Leaders say these events both foster the ideals of love and forgiveness through interfaith dialogues and political reconciliation.
The camp experience fostered love and forgiveness in participants through several forms of interfaith dialogues and political reconciliation. These included:
· opportunities for Buddhist and Muslim youth to develop friendships through shared tasks and exchanges of differing viewpoints
· fostering harmonious life between Buddhists and Muslims in Java and Indonesia nationwide
· providing the data for local and national leaders in making decisions--particularly on the issue of religious pluralism
· fostering and strengthening constructive relationships between Buddhist and Muslim youth leaders, as future leaders of the nation
An expert on radicalism, Dr. Noorhaidi Hasan from the Kalijaga State Islamic University of Yogyakarta gave a lecture that explored how the religion and globalization issue has given rise to radicalism.
Most of the participants said that they were impressed with the program, in particular with getting to know each other closely through their different faith traditions and customs. One participant, Jaya Dani Mulyanto from Malang, East Java said, “Like water, this camp has given birth to springs of peace flowing through precipices, gushing into the river and finally merging into the sea.”
CENAS selected 18 Muslims and 11 Buddhists to take part in the camp. All met the group’s requirements of being younger than age 35 years old, able to speak English fairly well, able to write a short essay about love and forgiveness.
This is a project of the Fetzer Advisory Council on World Religions and Spiritualities.