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08/15/2022 Indonesia (International Christian Concern) – At the Fifth National Congress of Islamic Education on August 11, the leader of Indonesia advised religious moderation as a means to counter radical Islamic movements.

To eliminate the religious ambitions of radical Islamic groups, the former chairman of the Ulema Indonesian Council, who is also Indonesia’s Vice President, Ma’ruf Amin, suggested that public universities adopt and embrace religious moderation, which is essentially an attitude of humane and virtuous tolerance that has been the value of the Indonesian nation for a long time.

This recommendation comes after reports of extreme Islamic groups having ties with roughly 200 boarding schools in Indonesia. The radical organizations’ aim is to establish Islam as the official religion in Indonesia. This objective pushes back against Indonesia’s national philosophy, Pancasila, which recognizes religious freedom for its six major religions, including Islam and Christianity.

Mr. Ma’ruf also demanded that Islamic education taught in schools should be “more qualified and relevant to the times.” He emphasized the use of information technology so that “multimedia communication…with the younger generation” is possible and can lead to greater educational competence.

It was additionally suggested that lecturers of Islamic Religious Education build up the character of students by encouraging them to learn independently.

Previously, radical groups in Indonesia, such as Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), have been linked to church attacks where dozens of casualties have occurred. The spread of radical Islam in Indonesia threatens the peace and safety of Christians.

Please pray for the continuous protection of Christians and for religious freedom to be fully respected and lived out in Indonesia.

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