Inter-religious dialogue to build social harmony

In Indonesia, specifically in the Moluccan Islands, “the Church is committed to strengthening good relations with other faiths.” This is according to Bishop Petrus Canisius Mandagi, head of the diocese of Amboina, which has its headquarters in Ambon, capital of the islands. These places went through a civil and religious conflict in the years 1999-2002. The Church has committed itself to cultivating and promoting inter-religious dialogue, convinced that this is the way to build social harmony and to heal the wounds of war.

“Religious harmony is not just a concept to talk about, but something to live with concrete actions,” explains Bishop Mandagi. As a result, when Muslims, who are the majority of the population, hold their meetings, Christians help and support them, and vice versa. This is to produce bonds of friendship and understanding. The Bishop usually visits Muslim families door-to-door “as a sign of goodwill, understanding and brotherhood, so that tensions and divisions can be resolved through mutual interaction and sharing,” he notes.

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