Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma is attending the first Indonesia – India Interfaith Dialogue in the Indonesian island of Java. Photo: Northeast Now

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma is attending the first Indonesia–India Interfaith Dialogue in the Indonesian island of Java, which is being led by Minister of State of External Affairs M.J Akbar.

“Indonesia – India Interfaith Dialogue has the potential to emerge as an effective forum to nurture peace and harmony not only in the two countries but also in the region and in the world,” Conrad K Sangma said.

He also said that all religions are based on peace for all mankind and that it is a crime against God to use religion as a platform to incite hate, conflict, violence, war or terrorism. The chief minister also expressed concern at the global trend towards insularity and felt that this could lead to greater social tensions and strife in the world.

The dialogue aims to promote pluralism and eradicate radicalism. The three-day programme comprises a forum discussion, visit to places of worship and dialogues between Hindu, Islamic, Christian and Buddhist religious leaders of both India and Indonesia.

During the programme, the members held discussion on the theme – “Sharing of Best Practices, Lessons Learnt and Way Forward” at Yogyakarta, a city in Java Island.

The Indonesian delegation at the India-Indonesia Interfaith Dialogue (IIID) is led by Vice Foreign Minister of Foreign Affairs A M Fachir.

Earlier this year, during Prime Minister Modi’s talks with Indonesian President Joko Widodo, the two leaders had agreed to organise the Interfaith Dialogue in Indonesia, which will be followed by a similar dialogue in India next year to promote pluralism and eradicate radicalism.

It is being held as an innovative mechanism to promote pluralism and tolerance, and to provide a platform for Indonesian and Indian religious scholars, youth and civil society leaders to join hands in improving relations across religions and cultures, combat prejudice, tackle radicalism and build conducive conditions for long-term peace, the statement said.

The participating delegates will be visiting Prambanam and Borobodur Temples, along with Zen Ling Gong Temple, Huria Kristen Batak Protestan Church, Santo Antonius Catholic Church and Syuhada Mosque in Yogyakarta, a statement by Indian Embassy in Indonesia said.

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