BY :JAYANTY NADA SHOFA
OCTOBER 28, 2020
Jakarta. Religious leaders call for stronger solidarity between the three Abrahamic religions – Judaism, Islam, and Christianity – amid the rising conflicts and global challenges.
The Abrahamic family recognizes the same patriarch Abraham or Ibrahim in their ancestral history. Apart from sharing a common ancestor, the three religions carry the same value of building peace and unity among humankind.
According to the Religious Affairs Minister Fachrul Razi, numerous conflicts of interests have caused the three communities to shift away from the said values. A noteworthy example is an Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“The ongoing conflict occurs in a region where Abraham’s descendants and the three Abrahamic communities live. Nonetheless, we keep on witnessing how peace is not yet achieved like we all hope to be,” Fachrul told an online conference held by the Leimena Institute on Tuesday.
The minister then urged Abrahamic faith to focus on finding a meeting point rather than the differences to create harmony.
There should also be more interfaith dialogues because peace is unattainable without communication, Fachrul said.
Muslim organization Nahdlatul Ulama called for more concrete steps to create peace from the Abrahamic family beyond dialogues and ceremonies.
“The world is waiting for concrete steps for the peace of all. We need to stop warfare, production of mass weapons of destruction, terrorism, drugs to achieve a world of brotherhood and peace,” Said Aqil Siradj, the organization’s chairman said.
According to the Communion of Churches in Indonesia (PGI) chairman Gomar Gultom, many Christian denominations have released many documents encouraging interfaith unity.
The most recent one calls for Christians to serve others regardless of their religion or ethnic group amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Gomar said.
The document was titled “Serving a Wounded World in Interreligious Solidarity: A Christian Call to Reflection and Action During Covid-19 Pandemic”. The Pontifical Council released it for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID) and the World Council of Churches (WCC).
Likewise, the American Jewish Committee highlighted the importance of such solidarity when confronting the global pandemic.
“Covid-19 has been an opportunity for negative elements to exploit it in different ways. For example, conspiracy theories claiming that this or that community is behind it. That is a classic example of where we as Jews, Muslims, or Christians should stand up together and refute hoaxes, lies, misinterpretations,” the committee’s international director of interreligious affairs David Rosen said.
It is also important to bring together charitable organizations run by the religious communities to help the poor, David added.