Indonesia and Singapore have hosted their first joint interfaith and intercultural dialogue and exchange to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral and diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin and Singaporean Social and Family Development Minister Tan Chuan-Jin inaugurated the event at Singapore’s National Development Ministry office on Tuesday.
Singaporean Senior State Minister at the Defense and Foreign Affairs Ministry Mohamad Maliki bin Osman and leaders of different religions from Indonesia and Singapore were also present at the event.
The objective of the interfaith dialogue was to enhance mutual understanding while establishing a constructive network and dialogue among religious leaders from both countries, the Indonesian Embassy in Singapore stated in a press statement released on Wednesday.
Through the dialogue, it was hoped that religious leaders could find some ways and means, through which they could cooperate to address common challenges relating to inter-faith issues while at the same time promoting tolerance, harmony and mutual respect among peoples of different faiths in their respective countries.
“Interfaith dialogues are a bridge to better understanding and can be used to address common challenges, help eradicate hatred and [the] spread of extreme views and disseminate harmony and tolerance,” Indonesian Ambassador to Singapore Ngurah Swajaya said in his remarks at the dialogue.
Prior to the event’s inauguration, participants paid a visit to Singapore’s Harmony in Diversity Gallery (HDG), which was developed by the country’s Home Affairs Ministry in collaboration with community partners and organizations to promote appreciation of Singapore’s rich religious diversity.
Indonesian Ambassador to Singapore Ngurah Swajaya speaks during a dialogue at the Indonesian Embassy in Singapore recently. (Courtesy of the Foreign Affairs Ministry/File)