IL News 011/2020
May 18th, 2020
One of the Pharisees tested Jesus with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law” Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your soul and with all your mind“. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbour as yourself.“
This Bible story is familiar to most Christians: often preached, be memorized, or even quoted in Christian activities.
Now, how is such law as written in Christian Bible, be understood by Muslim? There were 138 world Muslim leaders from various madhhabs who signed an open letter titled A Common Word Between Us and You at Jordan on 2007. It invited world church leaders to have dialog and collaborate for humanity and world peace.
The letter stated that Muslim and Christian could work together for peace, based on the two greatest commandment equally found in these two religions, Love of God and Love of Neighbour.
A Common Word for the Common Good is the Leimena Institute’s Webinar title on May 18th, 2020 attended by 351 church leaders, pastors, lecturers, and activists from inter-denomination churches, theological schools, and universities from North Sumatera to Maluku. The attendees spread from different provinces in Indonesia, and even overseas.
It was started with a prayer by Rev. Musa Salusu, Chairman of Toraja Church Synod. Matius Ho, the Leimena Institute’s Executive Director, then welcomed all attendees. He further explained this webinar as an effort to participate in civilization through multi-faith collaboration.
This webinar presented Prof. Dr. Alwi Shihab (Senior Fellow, the Leimena Institute) and Rev. Gomar Gultom, M.Th (Chairman, Communion of Churches in Indonesia) as keynote speakers. Ir. Daniel Adipranata, M.Div. (Program Manager, the Leimena Institute) was the moderator in the 2 hours webinar.
Alwi Shihab started by conveying several commonalities between Muslim and Christian. As an example, both have holy books directly from God. Some are actually written in Koran. Furthermore, he explained history of the peaceful encounter between these two missionary religions. From the beginning, Muslim always feel the closeness as written in Koran, the Abrahamic religions as Peoples of the Book.
Gomar Gultom emphasized on the importance of substantial religious: to practice the love for God and the neighbours in daily life, beyond the rituals.
These thoughts were responded in questions and answers session. High enthusiasm were reflected from high attendance, questions and responses during the webinar. There is a huge interest in interfaith dialog to build peaceful collaboration.
May this webinar be an effort to revive the spirit of pluralism substantially, and multi-faith collaboration for humanity, especially in fighting the COVID-19. A more peaceful world through brotherhood in differences may come true from this relationship; this is our closing prayer as said by Rev. Agustinus Purba from Batak Karo Protestan Church.