Interreligious Pluralism : Indonesian Model


08 novembre 2017

10h00 - 12h30


Salle du Conseil du collège Descamps

Indonesia: A Model of Tolerance, Pluralism and Harmony — Séance de travail exceptionnelle avec une délégation officielle des cultes d”Indonésie à l”occasion d”une mission auprès de l”Union européenne en présence de LLEE le Nonce apostolique en Belgique (tbc) et le Vice-ambassadeur d”Indonésie, et de la Pro-rectrice aux relations internationales de l”UCL.


At present Europe seems dominated by a climate of fear, mistrust, mutual suspicions, and misunderstandings which has given rise to populist parties promoting a “us vs them” mentality; thereby, scapegoating religious and ethnic minorities for the woes of the continent. Indonesia, on the other hand, despite being one of the most diverse countries in the world (over 240 ethnic groups, more than 300 languages and six official religions), has managed the complex relationship between religion, state, and society in a tolerant and harmonious way. Indonesia”s constitution provides for freedom of religion and has a history of being the most tolerant Muslim-majority country in the world with a well-balanced harmony between numerous religious and ethnic groups. The experience of hundreds of years of coexistence between several religions has developed a special tolerance in Indonesia, a key factor for democracy.
The state attaches special importance to keeping dialogue between religious communities open: every one of the 34 provinces is host to a Religious Harmony Forum. Interreligious dialogue is also undertaken by universities, youth organisations and NGOs. Indonesia, as a leader in inter-faith dialogue, also as a strong mandate to promote it abroad. It holds many bilateral inter-faith dialogues – including with Singapore, Myanmar, Fiji, and Australia in its immediate neighbourhood – as well as regionally and multilaterally (through the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations, for example). Indonesia is bidding to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2019-2020 with an agenda strongly focused on human security, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding. Indonesia, as a living model of tolerance and pluralism, can benefit from UNSC membership to promote these values in its interactions with other members of the international community. In short, Indonesia is gracefully endowed with a very rich spiritual-religious capital and it is hoped it can assist and offer some valuable lessons to the EU in tackling extremism, radicalisation, and other related challenges.
With the support of
Embassy of Indonesia
UCL Chair for Law and Religions
UCL Chair for Toleration - de Merre