(AsiaNews) - The foreign ministries of Indonesia and Italy have sponsored a forum
on interfaith dialogue to fight religious terrorism and encourage rapprochement
between different cultures and faiths. The project was made possible by the
cooperation of the Indonesian Foreign Ministry and Italian Foreign Minister Giulio
Terzi di Sant'Agata. The foreign ministers of the two countries were present at
the forum's opening in Jakarta. Over the coming days, participants will discuss
'Unity in Diversity: the Power of Dialogue for Peaceful Cohabitation in a Pluralistic
Some of the most
important leaders of moderate Islam and the Catholic Church will be present,
including Prof Din Syamsuddin, head of Muhammadiyah, and Mgr Ignatius Suharyo
Pr, archbishop of Jakarta. Italy will be represented by Marco Impagliazzo, from
the Sant'Egidio Community, as well as Prof Romano Orlandi and Fr Francesco
Marini, both members of the community.
This is the
second forum dedicated to interfaith dialogue jointly sponsored by Rome and
Jakarta, involving the Indonesian Religious Affairs Ministry and the foreign
ministries of both Italy and Indonesia. The first forum was held in Rome in
The Indonesian government
said that the forum is bound to bring positive results and be mutually advantageous.
Enthusiastically promoted by both nations, it will boost their ties of
strongly encouraged to boost the culture of peace in the global community," the
Indonesian Ministry said in a statement.
Other groups are
also involved in promoting interfaith dialogue, including the Asia Pacific
Interfaith Dialogue, APEC Inter-Cultural and Faith Symposium, International
Conference of Islamic Conference (ICIS) and World Peace Forum (WPF).
A similar forum to
promote interfaith friendship and meetings was held in Bali in 2005 with the
participation of European and Asian leaders. Three years earlier, Muslim
extremists carried out a deadly attack in the same city that killed more than
200 people, mostly tourists.