Religions for Peace Advances Interreligious Alliance between Myanmar and Indonesia to Respond to Regional Challenges

Religions for Peace Indonesia A 12-member delegation consisting of senior Buddhist, Christian, Muslim and Hindu leaders from Myanmar has travelled to Indonesia for a historic visit facilitated by Religions for Peace (RfP)International at the invitation of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia. The delegation met with H.E. Vice President Jusuf Kalla as well as leaders of the Interreligious Council of Indonesia-RfP, consisting of Indonesian Ulama Council, Nahdlatul Ulama, Muhammadiyah, Catholic Bishops Conference, Communion of Churches and Hindu, Buddhist and Confucian Associations.


H.E. Vice President Kalla noted in his keynote address that “Respecting and celebrating unity and harmony among religions is the foundation to build trust. However, we must work together to promote equality and well-being for all.”

Prof. Dr. Din Syamsuddin [Moderator, RfP Asia] responded by highlighting the theme of the recently concluded RfP 10th World Assembly “Caring for Our Common Future by Advancing Shared Well-Being” as the mission of RfP.

Rev. Kyoichi Sugino [Acting Secretary General, RfP International] stated,

“In South East Asia, approximately 40 percent of the total population are Buddhist while another 42 percent are Muslim. [Religious communities] have a long history of collaborating for shared prosperity in the region. Strengthening multi-religious action and mutual learning between Buddhist-majority Myanmar and Muslim-majority Indonesia within the framework of interreligious cooperation will offer a basis to address critical challenges confronting the region.”

Rohingya refugees from Myanmar and Bangladesh have taken dangerous boat voyages to Indonesia. At the RfP 10th World Assembly, Myanmar and Bangladesh religious leaders met in a closed Track II Peace Consultation and issued a joint statement addressing these critical challenges. The statement reads,

“The RfP leaders of both countries recognize that it is necessary to create conditions needed for the voluntary return of the refugees. We reiterate our support that returnees be settled in the places of origin or nearby places, be given access to basic services, freedom of movement and sustainable livelihood conditions. We also support the planned, dignified, voluntary and safe return of the refugees from Bangladesh with due protection and accompaniment by reputable agencies such as ICRC and UNHCR.”

Ahead of the RfP 10th World Assembly, religious leaders committed to taking action through people-to-people dialogue. In November, RfP International and RfP Bangladesh will convene a Buddhist-Muslim High-level Summit in Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh, where nearly 1 million refugees are settled. The Summit will occur on 21-23 November 2019 and will bring together approximately 30 senior-most Buddhist and Muslim leaders from South and South East Asia.

The first Buddhist-Muslim Summit, convened by Religions for Peace, International Network of Engaged Buddhists, JUST and Muhammadiyah, produced the historic “Yogyakarta Statement of Shared Values and Commitments” between the two religious traditions for peace with justice, religious freedom and care for the environment. Buddhist-Muslim action and multi-religious partnership to overcome thecurrent political impasse onthe Rohingya crisis will be part of the agenda of the upcoming Second Summit of Buddhist and Muslim leaders.

Ahead of the RfP 10th World Assembly, religious leaders committed to taking action through people-to-people dialogue. In November, RfP International and RfP Bangladesh will convene a Buddhist-Muslim High-level Summit in Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh, where nearly 1 million refugees are settled. The Summit will occur on 21-23 November 2019 and will bring together approximately 30 senior-most Buddhist and Muslim leaders from South and South East Asia.

The first Buddhist-Muslim Summit, convened by Religions for Peace, International Network of Engaged Buddhists, JUST and Muhammadiyah, produced the historic “Yogyakarta Statement of Shared Values and Commitments” between the two religious traditions for peace with justice, religious freedom and care for the environment. Buddhist-Muslim action and multi-religious partnership to overcome thecurrent political impasse onthe Rohingya crisis will be part of the agenda of the upcoming Second Summit of Buddhist and Muslim leaders.

 

Religions for Peace International Delegation to Indonesia
The Religions for Peace (RfP) Myanmar delegation with H.E. Vice President Jusuf Kalla of Republic of Indonesia (center) with Dr. Din Syamsuddin [Moderator, RfP Asia], Cardinal Charles Bo [Co-President, RfP International; Archbishop of Yangon, Myanmar] and Rev. Kyoichi Sugino [Acting Secretary General, RfP International]. The RfP Myanmar delegation’s visit to Indonesia is supported by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia. (Photo taken: 9 September 2019 | Presidential Palace in Jakarta, Indonesia)

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