Ecumenical Christmas Message Calls On Christians To Build Peace
In response to communal conflict and persecution in the past years, Christian leaders in the predominantly Muslim country of Indonesia are calling for believers to “conquer evil with kindness” in a joint Christmas message.
12/3/08 Indonesia (UCAN) Indonesia’s Catholic and Protestant Church leaders urge all Christians in the country to help build a peaceful society in a joint Christmas message.
The predominantly Muslim country has experienced communal conflict in the past years, they acknowledge, stressing that various social problems should be faced and solved together through dialogue. Christians should determinedly join any effort “to build a true fraternity among the children of the nation,” to build up their own communal life and to be sensitive to other communities.
“We invite all Christians to conquer evil with kindness,” they say, pointing out that many people have suffered as a result of communal strife. “We need to realize that our enemy is not others but evil, which may stimulate people to do criminal acts and hurt others.”
The government has not yet taken adequate action to create harmonious communal relations in Indonesia, they add.
“We are yearning for peace” for all citizens, regardless of ethnicity, race, or religious and political affiliation, the leaders say. Such peace would allow citizens “to work together for common welfare and to build relations without being threatened, oppressed or marginalized.”
They recognize that certain sectors of society have tried to build peace but “have not yet attained their goals,” and call for such efforts to continue and be pursued more skillfully.