Violence and extremism are the reality in our society. Recently, the most staggering incident is the violence done by police officers to George Floyd in Minneapolis. This violation of human rights triggered demonstrations around the world. In the social media is the protest done with hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. It aims to find justice and to protest against racial discrimination and violence to the African de-scent populations.
Violence and extremism, based on race, religion, and politics, contradicts to the principles of justice, peace, and reconciliation. Therefore, we should be in solidarity to one another and act together in resisting violence and extremism should be pursued. The UEM during its General Assembly in 2018 adopted the theme “Being Salt of the Earth - Acting Together in Resisting Violence and Extremism towards Justice, Peace, and Reconciliation”. This theme becomes the foundation of all activities.
The Mission Spark 8th edition presents articles on the theme “Acting Together in Resisting Violence and Extremism towards Justice, Peace, and Reconciliation” as follows:
Marie-Anne Halim wrote about human rights and human dignity, history of modern human rights and their relation to theology. She underlined the theological model of reason described by Heinrich Bedford-Strohm as the most interesting in practice for several reasons. In her article Marie-Anne Halim encouraged churches to stand up for human dignity and human rights.
Johanes Mardimin described the history of Islam and the development of Political Islam in Java, especially fundamentalist, radicalism and extremist groups which was triggered by clash of civilizations and the imbalance of power between the opposing groups of civilizations. In order to be able to control the development of fundamentalism he suggested several concrete steps.
Dyah Ayu Krismawati argued that Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah are important actors in fighting against religious extremism and in building a good interfaith relation in Indonesia. However there are challenges faced by both organization on relation between them and with other faiths.
Juliet Solis Aguilar underlined the important role of the Church in every society to fulfill its calling as the “salt and light of the world” (Matthew 5:13) and to do the mandate to “provide justice for the needy and the fatherless; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute” (Psalms 82:3). She elaborated the concept of peace based on justice which is deeply rooted in the UCCP’s theological understanding of the Kingdom of God and articulated in the UCCP’s statement of faith.
Purjatian Azhar argued that Islam should be a mediation to reduce the potential for conflict in the multicultural society of Indonesia. He offered the multicultural concept from Abdul Aziz Sachedina which should be mainstreamed into the context of the multicultural society of Indonesia.
Brahm Kharismatius explained the important role of the new media as a tool for peace dissemination in the society. The new media is important in building a culture of tolerance, proclaim the narratives of peace and rejecting the view of radicalism. He researched on the new media of GKJW.
Rev. Dr. Dyah Ayu Krismawati (Executive Secretary of UEM Asia Department and Chief Editor)
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