Indonesian university students and lecturers have just hosted a group from Australia and Japan, whom they invited to speak about the work of Initiatives of Change.
Indonesian university students and lecturers have just hosted a group from Australia and Japan, whom they invited to speak about the work of Initiatives of Change. The students, mostly Muslim, took this initiative because they see the need to build trust between Indonesia's differing religions and cultures, and they have seen this happening elsewhere through IofC.
The visitors spent a week in the country, speaking at a variety of educational centres including the University of Indonesia and the State Islamic University of Djakarta. They had a heartfelt discussion with leaders of the Chinese Confucian community, who suffered greatly during racial riots in 1999.
'Everywhere we went the response was extremely positive,' wrote one of the visitors, Rob Wood from Melbourne. 'The Indonesians we met seemed to genuinely desire a good relationship with Australia and are as strongly opposed to events like the Bali bombing as people in this country.'
Muhammad Bachrul Ilmi, Coordinator of MRA-IofC Indonesia, wrote after the visit: 'Several hundred people came to hear our visitors. They were very interested in the experiences of healing hatred which they heard both from Australia and from Japan. We felt we reached our objective, which was to build understanding between our committee, our visitors, and all who came to hear them.'