Indonesia should allow interfaith marriage, say bishops

Indonesian bishops have told the country’s top court that they support interfaith marriage and that laws that may restrict mixed unions are discriminatory.

(Photo) Father Yohanes Purba Tamtomo, a representative of the Indonesia Bishops’ Conference, speaks about the Church’s position on interfaith marriage during a hearing at the Constitutional Court on Monday (Photo by Ryan Dagur)

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Regional Interfaith Dialogue and this website

The inaugural Regional Interfaith Dialogue was held in Yogyakarta from 6-7 December 2004 and hosted jointly by Australia and Indonesia

  • The meeting was an initiative of the then Foreign Ministers of Australia and Indonesia, Mr Downer and Dr Wirajuda, which they announced in July 2004.
  • The inaugural Regional Interfaith Dialogue was established with the aim of promoting understanding and tolerance between the faith groups of South-East Asia and encouraging religious leaders’ roles in strengthening mainstream voices within their respective communities.

Following the inaugural Regional Interfaith Dialogue, New Zealand and the Philippines joined Australia and Indonesia as co-sponsors.

Subsequent Regional Interfaith Dialogues (RID) were held as follows

  • the 2nd RID was hosted by the Philippines in Cebu in March 2006
  • the 3rd RID was hosted by New Zealand in Waitangi in May 2007
  • the 4th RID was hosted by Cambodia, with Australia’s support, in Phnom Penh in April 2008
  • the 5th RID was hosted by Australia in Perth in October 2009.
  • the 6th RID was hosted by Indonesia in Semerang in March, 2012.

Each RID results in the development of a ‘Declaration’ by delegates, setting out agreed outcomes and recommendations for action.

RID participants are drawn from the major faith groups of the co-sponsoring countries, the remaining eight ASEANs, East Timor, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.

The 5th RID had the theme ‘Future Faith Leaders: Regional Challenges and Cooperation’.

One of the Perth Declaration’s key recommendations was to establish an interfaith website.


Purpose of the Regional Interfaith Website


The aim of establishing the Regional Interfaith Network website is to invite and enable people from different faiths from around the region to learn of the advances in interfaith practice. The website will provide a communication tool for faith leaders and communities engaged in interfaith dialogue, including delegates who have taken part in previous Regional Interfaith Dialogues, to share ideas, experiences and examples of successful practice in educational interfaith resources, activities and events. The website will also encourage faith and interfaith organizations to explore and develop partnerships in promoting interfaith dialogue at the local, national and regional levels.