Indonesia: Interfaith Youth Project

Conflicts between religious groups are a frequent occurrence on the island of Sulawesi. Young people are particularly vulnerable to influences from fundamentalist groups. The Synod on Sulawesi wants to strengthen interfaith dialogue and promote peace by offering various activities in their congregations.

Indonesia has a broad cultural diversity. The state recognises six religions but there are also many small religions which make the country a pluralistic society. Life is difficult, especially for minorities who are often faced with oppression and injustice in their daily lives.

For many years, the Synod in North and Central Sulawesi has been grappling with the task of preventing violence against minorities and promoting peaceful coexistence between religions, mainly between Christians and Muslims. The Church amalgamated several projects to form the interfaith youth project which is carried out in many congregations of Sulawesi. One of the many activities they offer is a holiday course for theology students and young leaders of other religions. The courses always take place at the start of the holidays and are attended by 30 Indonesians of both genders. The course teaches the participants how to overcome prejudice and how to learn together, for example how to understand and respect the religion of the other. They also realise the importance of dialogue to foster coexistence despite the differences.

Multicultural feasts create a spirit of community

An interfaith camp also takes place during the holidays and is attended by young people from multicultural backgrounds. The social activities also involve the young people handing out food to the needy or helping the sick in the slums. The programme includes cultural shows which are normally staged on Youth Day.

The various activities take place over a period of two years and address different target groups in youth work. The aim is to instil in young people a deep understanding of what interfaith dialogue is all about. As a result of the Synod's youth work, there has been an increase in the number of people from different religions in Indonesian society who understand and respect each other and who are working towards peaceful coexistence.

Interfaith youth projects help religions in Indonesia to live peacefully together. Your donation helps!

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