Yogyakarta 2004

STATEMENT: DIALOGUE ON INTERFAITH COOPERATION

Yogyakarta, 6-7 December 2004

1. The delegates to the International Dialogue on Interfaith Cooperation, held in Yogyakarta on 6-7 December 2004, expressed their strong commitment to fostering peace and respect for religious diversity in the Asia-Pacific region. Delegates affirmed their strong condemnation of violence and terrorism. Participants committed themselves to taking action in their own communities to further promote interfaith and inter-communal harmony. Delegates undertook to discuss with their own national governments a range of recommendations designed to strengthen interfaith unity and cooperation.

2. Delegates expressed their strong appreciation to the Governments of Indonesia and Australia and the Central Board of Muhammadiyah and to those of participating countries for their support for the Interfaith Dialogue meeting and underlined their support for further interfaith dialogue initiatives.

3. We noted the important statement made by the President of the Republic of Indonesia, in his opening remarks, stating that when ethnic and religious prejudice was compounded by economic and political rivalry, conflict was inevitable. The President stressed that the solution was not to deny the reality of our differences, but to affirm a deeper, greater and more important reality – our common humanity.

4. We believe the meeting has achieved its main objective as a forum to promote understanding and to foster harmony between faith communities across our region. We see this Dialogue on Interfaith Cooperation as the beginning of a process of more direct and frequent communication between regional faith leaders in solving problems and building a more harmonious and peaceful future for the region.

5. We are of the view that the promotion of a culture of peace and acceptance based on relationships of justice should be promoted through education as a way to enrich dialogue.

6. We call upon governments to support such initiative in the future as a way to promote and strengthening people-to-people contact.

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