IL News 024/2019

Monday, 25 November 2019 in Novotel Hotel, Jakarta, several prominent figures from across sectors gathered to discuss the praxis of religious freedom in Indonesia. The activity carried out in collaboration between Leimena Institute and the Church of England, supported by the United Kingdom Foreign & Commonwealth Office, was an initial effort to explore the praxis of religious freedom in each of their spheres, as a media to build close collaboration across sectors.

Charles Reed (International Affairs Policy Advisor, Church of England) started this activity by giving an appreciation to Leimena Institute as a host and to every cross-sector leader that is present. He hoped to get insights and input from participants to be used as a consideration in collaboration to strengthen the religious freedom.

Jakob Tobing, MPA, President of Leimena Institute, continued the opening activity by explaining some of the nation’s current challenges that need attention. First, it was about the management of diversity. Second, it was about the massive invasion of information that penetrated into the private sphere. Third, the fact that relying only on formal law in Freedom of Religion and Belief was not appropriate because it weakened the power of interpersonal relations. Therefore, it is necessary to be more attached to the community.

Matius Ho, the Executive Director of Leimena Institute ended the opening session by giving appreciation to all participants who were present. He explained that cross-religious dialogue has been often carried out in Indonesia. However, he hoped to get input related to the challenges and recommendations for strengthening religious freedom. He also expected that cross-sector and inter-religion friendships that have been established could be continued in collaboration for strengthening religious freedom in Indonesia.

This Scoping Workshop did not only invite speakers from the government (parliament), business, and education sectors, but also active responders from various well-known organizations that deal with issues of religious freedom and human rights.

(Also read: Description of the Religious Freedom and ParliamentReligious Freedom and Business and Religious Freedom and Higher Education session of this discussion)