Jul. 5, 2019

Indonesian President special envoy visits WCC to promote interreligious dialogue

Photo: Valter Hugo Muniz/WCC

05 July 2019

The special envoy of the president of Indonesia for Interfaith and Intercivilizational Dialogue and Cooperation Dr Syafiq A. Mughni, visited the World Council of Churches (WCC) and met with the general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit and Peter Prove, director of the WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs, in Geneva 4 July, 2019.

Dr Mughni expressed his appreciation for the WCC promoting human rights and fighting against xenophobia and Islamophobia. “We have to see human rights as universal principles.”

“I have worked with several churches in Indonesia in the humanitarian context, but this is the first opportunity I have to learn about the World Council of Churches”, said Mughni, expressing particular interest in interreligious dialogue with Muslims.

Dr Tveit said “It is our duty as human beings and also as Christians to fight for the rights of everybody.” Tveit added: “I have learnt that Indonesia has the biggest Muslim population in the world. That shows how crucial are the interreligious relationships for you. I think you have an important task, not only for your country but also to be a model for the world beyond.”

Tveit continued: “We cannot give up. We have to believe in this project of one humanity. We need strong partners like you and your government to show what we want, what we need.”

Many of the 27 WCC member churches based in the South Asian country are engaged in interreligious dialogue with Muslim communities.

“Besides the few incidents when churches were attacked in Indonesia, there is a strong sense of intercommunal solidarity between Christians and Muslims in Indonesia. Unfortunately, this doesn’t get the same attention from media”, said Peter Prove, director of the WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs, who also attended the meeting.