Global Newsroom

Indonesians Host 'Action for Change' Program

Monday, 13. October 2003

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.

Student group in Indonesia during IC visit, Sept 2003

Student group in Indonesia during IC visit, Sept 2003

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.'

IC visitors with the Committee of the State Islamic University in Indonesia

IC visitors with the Committee of the State Islamic University in Indonesia

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.'