God blessed all the audience, ladies and gentelmen and especially the committee who organized this event hopefully always in the protection of Allah and His blessing and success in performing of all their duties. Amen. Today I have a good opportunity to exchange and share ideas and views about “Islam and Christianity: the Paths of Encounter” in Indonesia, actually, this is an important topic, not only for moslems in Asia, but also for the countries in the world.
My home land Indonesia is an archipelago in Southeast Asia consisting of 17,000 islands, with the Population more then 250 million people, make it the world's fourth-most populous state (after China, India and the United States). At least 300 different ethnic groups. the official national language is Bahasa Indonesia, with 737 living local languages. And diferent religions, Muslim 87.21%. Protestant 6.96%, Roman Catholic 2.91%, Hindu 1.69%, Budhis 0.72% Khong Hucu 0.06% and other local religions 0.5%. To maintain harmony and to get paths of encounter in the society, there are at least five things that can be the basis and foundation for becoming a path that can meet each other between one religion and another in Indonesia. 1) The values of the teachings of Islam which are practiced by the majority of Muslims and the values of the teachings of other religions, 2) The basis of the Indonesian State Idiology which is bound by a nation collective agreement (Mu'ahadah Wathoniyah) sourced from the teachings of each religion and culture, 3) A motto of unity that can unite differences in society, 4) Freedom of association and organization and 5) There is a forum for building friendship between religious followers represented by religious organizations in the form of Religious Harmony Forum (FKUB).
1.The values of Islamic teachings in addressing differences.
The differences in this world can be divided into two parts. The first is natural differences and creation. In this case we cannot choose. Like not being able to choose the shape of the face and body. He also could not choose from which tribe he was born. Even one mother's siblings can have different shapes, traits and personalities. All of that is creation without any choice as the Qur'an guides us to address differences in the word of Allah: “O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other .(not that ye may despise (each other). (Al- Hujurat 13) God created them with different nationalities and ethnicity is to know each other's strengths. To learn from each other and respect each other. Learning and living side by side.
Knowing each other is not mocking each other. Knowing is not mutually degrading. Allah says: “O ye who believe! Let not some men among you laugh at others: It may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): Nor let some women laugh at others: It may be that the (latter are better than the (former)” ( Al Hujurat 11)
The second difference is the difference due to choice. I am different from you because of my ideological choices. He is different because of his religious choices. And many more life choices that make people different. Allah answers this question in His Word: “If Allah had so willed, He would have made you a single people, but (His plan is) to test you in what He hath given you: so strive as in a race in all virtues”. The world is a testing place. All sides of this life are tests. Some were tested with their wealth, some were tested with their positions, others were tested with their handsome faces. And one test for humans is having to live in difference. It is not easy to accept differences around us. But that is a test from God to improve the quality of every human being.
In that verse, Allah focuses on competing in goodness. Not busy with the differences that people choose, compete to be better before Him. And there are still many Islamic teachings that advocate living together such as : “To you your religion and to me mine." ( Alkaafirun,6).
2. Unity in Diversity Motto, and 3. Pancasila as Indonesian State Idology.
Indonesia, which is the moto is (Bhineka Tunggal Ika) Unity in diversity, is the country’s largest Muslim in the world, has regarded five principles (Pancasila) as the state foundation and ideology as well. Since the establishment of the beloved Republic of Indonesia, Nahdlatul Ulama ( NU ) has agreed to accept Pancasila as a state ideology. It is the best choice having ever been made by Indonesian people. For it contains not only substantive moral of religious values but also the very deeply expression rooted from the Indonesia’s culture. Pancasila has become a meeting point, between those expecting Indonesia to be a secular state and those expecting it as a religious state, for considering that Indonesia is a predominantly Muslim country.
Pancasila is the integration of Indonesian’s culture into Islamic values or vice versa. Seen from the point of view of religion, Indonesia is the largest Muslim nation in the world ( the biggest Muslim country in theworld). But in the religion - political and ideological, Indonesia is not an “Islamic State “.However, it does not mean Islam in Indonesia is “ not original “.Islam in Indonesia has contributed much to the formation of Indonesian national culture. On the other hand, the institutionalization of Islamic values is also very powerful form of knowledge and intellectual system of the people, customs and belief systems, national culture, economic systems, up to the formation of Muslim behavior in Indonesia. In short, Islamic values has been fused with the culture of Indonesia. Islamic values have become tradition in Indonesia then experience the dynamics and endless adjustments till to day. From this never stops process , then be a social system called " Islam Nusantara " The values of Islam which is practiced in Nusantara.
3. Religious Social Organization.
Religious Social Organizations in Indonesia according to the Ministry of Religion data (Ditjen Bimas and PKUB, 2013) are: 1) Islamic organizations that have administrators from the Central to regional levels are 60 Organizations but the biggest are Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) whose members are more than 91 million and Muhammadiyah. And different regional islamic organization are 7,384 organizations. 2) National Christian Organizations ( Lembaga Persatuan Gerejawi Aras Nasional) are 8 organizations, and Synod ( 316 Indonesian Church Organization) and 577 Christian Foundations. 3) For Catholics have 10 archdioceses, 27 Dioceses and 1,202 Parishes, with 661 Religious Institutions. 4 ) Hidu has 1,122 religious institutions, 5) Buddhists have 108 religious institutions and 311, 6 foundations. Confucianism has 242 institutions. And of course there is an increase now.
4. Religious Harmony Forum (FKUB)
The Religious Harmony Forum (FKUB) is a forum formed by the community and facilitated by the Government (in this case the regional government) in order to build, maintain and empower religious people for harmony and prosperity. The formation of FKUB aims to maintain and develop religious harmony in community life, nation and state. FKUB is at the provincial and district / city level and can be established at the sub-district and village / village levels for the sake of harmony. In the 2013 data, the number of FKUB in Indonesia has all 33 Provinces and 428 Regencies and cities and increase day by day.
With five things above, the Indonesian people, if they get interference and problems of religious social life and others, the first attempt is to meet between religious organizations leader to conduct deliberations to find the best solution, this is where we find "the Paths of Encounter". Concrete examples carried out by religious communities in the face of earthquakes that occurred in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), Palu and Donggala that claimed thousands of victims died, were injured and displaced, religious communities united to help each without looking what religion they believe.
With the above description and the model implemented in Indonesia, hopefully we can take the benefits and goodness, and improve the shortcomings, so we can live in peace, togetherness, fair, prosperous, and become the nation's dignity. On this occasion also, I would like to thank to the countries that have and will help victims of earthquakes in Indonesia And the last” Don’t stop building peace until we have a rest in peace”.