My WelCome Words

Dear my Friends!
Every good thing You do, every good thing You say, every good thing You think, vibrates on and never ceases. The evil remains only until it is overcome by the good, but the good remains forever. Nothing is impossible to us, except of course, that which is contrary to the law of nature, universe, and... I am right here waiting for You!


Friday, August 20, 2010

Phenomenal Woman

Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Maya Angelou

A Poet's Voice XV

A Poet's Voice XV

Part One

The power of charity sows deep in my heart, and I reap and gather the wheat in bundles and give them to the hungry.

My soul gives life to the grapevine and I press its bunches and give the juice to the thirsty.

Heaven fills my lamp with oil and I place it at my window to direct the stranger through the dark.

I do all these things because I live in them; and if destiny should tie my hands and prevent me from so doing, then death would be my only desire. For I am a poet, and if I cannot give, I shall refuse to receive.

Humanity rages like a tempest, but I sigh in silence for I know the storm must pass away while a sigh goes to God.

Human kinds cling to earthly things, but I seek ever to embrace the torch of love so it will purify me by its fire and sear inhumanity from my heart.

Substantial things deaden a man without suffering; love awakens him with enlivening pains.

Humans are divided into different clans and tribes, and belong to countries and towns. But I find myself a stranger to all communities and belong to no settlement. The universe is my country and the human family is my tribe.

Men are weak, and it is sad that they divide amongst themselves. The world is narrow and it is unwise to cleave it into kingdoms, empires, and provinces.

Human kinds unite themselves one to destroy the temples of the soul, and they join hands to build edifices for earthly bodies. I stand alone listening to the voice of hope in my deep self saying, "As love enlivens a man's heart with pain, so ignorance teaches him the way of knowledge." Pain and ignorance lead to great joy and knowledge because the Supreme Being has created nothing vain under the sun.

Part Two

I have a yearning for my beautiful country, and I love its people because of their misery. But if my people rose, stimulated by plunder and motivated by what they call "patriotic spirit" to murder, and invaded my neighbor's country, then upon the committing of any human atrocity I would hate my people and my country.

I sing the praise of my birthplace and long to see the home of my children; but if the people in that home refused to shelter and feed the needy wayfarer, I would convert my praise into anger and my longing to forgetfulness. My inner voice would say, "The house that does not comfort the need is worthy of naught by destruction."

I love my native village with some of my love for my country; and I love my country with part of my love for the earth, all of which is my country; and I love the earth will all of myself because it is the haven of humanity, the manifest spirit of God.

Humanity is the spirit of the Supreme Being on earth, and that humanity is standing amidst ruins, hiding its nakedness behind tattered rags, shedding tears upon hollow cheeks, and calling for its children with pitiful voice. But the children are busy singing their clan's anthem; they are busy sharpening the swords and cannot hear the cry of their mothers.

Humanity appeals to its people but they listen not. Were one to listen, and console a mother by wiping her tears, other would say, "He is weak, affected by sentiment."

Humanity is the spirit of the Supreme Being on earth, and that Supreme Being preaches love and good-will. But the people ridicule such teachings. The Nazarene Jesus listened, and crucifixion was his lot; Socrates heard the voice and followed it, and he too fell victim in body. The followers of The Nazarene and Socrates are the followers of Deity, and since people will not kill them, they deride them, saying, "Ridicule is more bitter than killing."

Jerusalem could not kill The Nazarene, nor Athens Socrates; they are living yet and shall live eternally. Ridicule cannot triumph over the followers of Deity. They live and grow forever.

Part Three

Thou art my brother because you are a human, and we both are sons of one Holy Spirit; we are equal and made of the same earth.

You are here as my companion along the path of life, and my aid in understanding the meaning of hidden Truth. You are a human, and, that fact sufficing, I love you as a brother. You may speak of me as you choose, for Tomorrow shall take you away and will use your talk as evidence for his judgment, and you shall receive justice.

You may deprive me of whatever I possess, for my greed instigated the amassing of wealth and you are entitled to my lot if it will satisfy you.

You may do unto me whatever you wish, but you shall not be able to touch my Truth.

You may shed my blood and burn my body, but you cannot kill or hurt my spirit.

You may tie my hands with chains and my feet with shackles, and put me in the dark prison, but who shall not enslave my thinking, for it is free, like the breeze in the spacious sky.

You are my brother and I love you. I love you worshipping in your church, kneeling in your temple, and praying in your mosque. You and I and all are children of one religion, for the varied paths of religion are but the fingers of the loving hand of the Supreme Being, extended to all, offering completeness of spirit to all, anxious to receive all.

I love you for your Truth, derived from your knowledge; that Truth which I cannot see because of my ignorance. But I respect it as a divine thing, for it is the deed of the spirit. Your Truth shall meet my Truth in the coming world and blend together like the fragrance of flowers and becoming one whole and eternal Truth, perpetuating and living in the eternity of Love and Beauty.

I love you because you are weak before the strong oppressor, and poor before the greedy rich. For these reasons I shed tears and comfort you; and from behind my tears I see you embraced in the arms of Justice, smiling and forgiving your persecutors. You are my brother and I love you.

Part Four

You are my brother, but why are you quarreling with me? Why do you invade my country and try to subjugate me for the sake of pleasing those who are seeking glory and authority?

Why do you leave your wife and children and follow Death to the distant land for the sake of those who buy glory with your blood, and high honor with your mother's tears?

Is it an honor for a man to kill his brother man? If you deem it an honor, let it be an act of worship, and erect a temple to Cain who slew his brother Abel.

Is self-preservation the first law of Nature? Why, then, does Greed urge you to self-sacrifice in order only to achieve his aim in hurting your brothers? Beware, my brother, of the leader who says, "Love of existence obliges us to deprive the people of their rights!" I say unto you but this: protecting others' rights is the noblest and most beautiful human act; if my existence requires that I kill others, then death is more honorable to me, and if I cannot find someone to kill me for the protection of my honor, I will not hesitate to take my life by my own hands for the sake of Eternity before Eternity comes.

Selfishness, my brother, is the cause of blind superiority, and superiority creates clanship, and clanship creates authority which leads to discord and subjugation.

The soul believes in the power of knowledge and justice over dark ignorance; it denies the authority that supplies the swords to defend and strengthen ignorance and oppression - that authority which destroyed Babylon and shook the foundation of Jerusalem and left Rome in ruins. It is that which made people call criminals great mean; made writers respect their names; made historians relate the stories of their inhumanity in manner of praise.

The only authority I obey is the knowledge of guarding and acquiescing in the Natural Law of Justice.

What justice does authority display when it kills the killer? When it imprisons the robber? When it descends on a neighborhood country and slays its people? What does justice think of the authority under which a killer punishes the one who kills, and a thief sentences the one who steals?

You are my brother, and I love you; and Love is justice with its full intensity and dignity. If justice did not support my love for you, regardless of your tribe and community, I would be a deceiver concealing the ugliness of selfishness behind the outer garment of pure love.


My soul is my friend who consoles me in misery and distress of life. He who does not befriend his soul is an enemy of humanity, and he who does not find human guidance within himself will perish desperately. Life emerges from within, and derives not from environs.

I came to say a word and I shall say it now. But if death prevents its uttering, it will be said tomorrow, for tomorrow never leaves a secret in the book of eternity.

I came to live in the glory of love and the light of beauty, which are the reflections of God. I am here living, and the people are unable to exile me from the domain of life for they know I will live in death. If they pluck my eyes I will hearken to the murmers of love and the songs of beauty.

If they close my ears I will enjoy the touch of the breeze mixed with the incebse of love and the fragrance of beauty.

If they place me in a vacuum, I will live together with my soul, the child of love and beauty.

I came here to be for all and with all, and what I do today in my solitude will be echoed by tomorrow to the people.

What I say now with one heart will be said tomorrow by many hearts

Khalil Gibran

A Poet's Death is His Life IV

A Poet's Death is His Life IV

The dark wings of night enfolded the city upon which Nature had spread a pure white garment of snow; and men deserted the streets for their houses in search of warmth, while the north wind probed in contemplation of laying waste the gardens. There in the suburb stood an old hut heavily laden with snow and on the verge of falling. In a dark recess of that hovel was a poor bed in which a dying youth was lying, staring at the dim light of his oil lamp, made to flicker by the entering winds. He a man in the spring of life who foresaw fully that the peaceful hour of freeing himself from the clutches of life was fast nearing. He was awaiting Death's visit gratefully, and upon his pale face appeared the dawn of hope; and on his lops a sorrowful smile; and in his eyes forgiveness.

He was poet perishing from hunger in the city of living rich. He was placed in the earthly world to enliven the heart of man with his beautiful and profound sayings. He as noble soul, sent by the Goddess of Understanding to soothe and make gentle the human spirit. But alas! He gladly bade the cold earth farewell without receiving a smile from its strange occupants.

He was breathing his last and had no one at his bedside save the oil lamp, his only companion, and some parchments upon which he had inscribed his heart's feeling. As he salvaged the remnants of his withering strength he lifted his hands heavenward; he moved his eyes hopelessly, as if wanting to penetrate the ceiling in order to see the stars from behind the veil clouds.

And he said, "Come, oh beautiful Death; my soul is longing for you. Come close to me and unfasten the irons life, for I am weary of dragging them. Come, oh sweet Death, and deliver me from my neighbors who looked upon me as a stranger because I interpret to them the language of the angels. Hurry, oh peaceful Death, and carry me from these multitudes who left me in the dark corner of oblivion because I do not bleed the weak as they do. Come, oh gentle Death, and enfold me under your white wings, for my fellowmen are not in want of me. Embrace me, oh Death, full of love and mercy; let your lips touch my lips which never tasted a mother's kiss, not touched a sister's cheeks, not caresses a sweetheart's fingertips. Come and take me, by beloved Death."

Then, at the bedside of the dying poet appeared an angel who possessed a supernatural and divine beauty, holding in her hand a wreath of lilies. She embraced him and closed his eyes so he could see no more, except with the eye of his spirit. She impressed a deep and long and gently withdrawn kiss that left and eternal smile of fulfillment upon his lips. Then the hovel became empty and nothing was lest save parchments and papers which the poet had strewn with bitter futility.

Hundreds of years later, when the people of the city arose from the diseases slumber of ignorance and saw the dawn of knowledge, they erected a monument in the most beautiful garden of the city and celebrated a feast every year in honor of that poet, whose writings had freed them. Oh, how cruel is man's ignorance!

Khalil Gibran

A Lover's Call XXVII

A Lover's Call XXVII

Where are you, my beloved? Are you in that little
Paradise, watering the flowers who look upon you
As infants look upon the breast of their mothers?

Or are you in your chamber where the shrine of
Virtue has been placed in your honor, and upon
Which you offer my heart and soul as sacrifice?

Or amongst the books, seeking human knowledge,
While you are replete with heavenly wisdom?

Oh companion of my soul, where are you? Are you
Praying in the temple? Or calling Nature in the
Field, haven of your dreams?

Are you in the huts of the poor, consoling the
Broken-hearted with the sweetness of your soul, and
Filling their hands with your bounty?

You are God's spirit everywhere;
You are stronger than the ages.

Do you have memory of the day we met, when the halo of
You spirit surrounded us, and the Angels of Love
Floated about, singing the praise of the soul's deed?

Do you recollect our sitting in the shade of the
Branches, sheltering ourselves from Humanity, as the ribs
Protect the divine secret of the heart from injury?

Remember you the trails and forest we walked, with hands
Joined, and our heads leaning against each other, as if
We were hiding ourselves within ourselves?

Recall you the hour I bade you farewell,
And the Maritime kiss you placed on my lips?
That kiss taught me that joining of lips in Love
Reveals heavenly secrets which the tongue cannot utter!

That kiss was introduction to a great sigh,
Like the Almighty's breath that turned earth into man.

That sigh led my way into the spiritual world,
Announcing the glory of my soul; and there
It shall perpetuate until again we meet.

I remember when you kissed me and kissed me,
With tears coursing your cheeks, and you said,
"Earthly bodies must often separate for earthly purpose,
And must live apart impelled by worldly intent.

"But the spirit remains joined safely in the hands of
Love, until death arrives and takes joined souls to God.

"Go, my beloved; Love has chosen you her delegate;
Over her, for she is Beauty who offers to her follower
The cup of the sweetness of life.
As for my own empty arms, your love shall remain my
Comforting groom; you memory, my Eternal wedding."

Where are you now, my other self? Are you awake in
The silence of the night? Let the clean breeze convey
To you my heart's every beat and affection.

Are you fondling my face in your memory? That image
Is no longer my own, for Sorrow has dropped his
Shadow on my happy countenance of the past.

Sobs have withered my eyes which reflected your beauty
And dried my lips which you sweetened with kisses.

Where are you, my beloved? Do you hear my weeping
From beyond the ocean? Do you understand my need?
Do you know the greatness of my patience?

Is there any spirit in the air capable of conveying
To you the breath of this dying youth? Is there any
Secret communication between angels that will carry to
You my complaint?

Where are you, my beautiful star? The obscurity of life
Has cast me upon its bosom; sorrow has conquered me.

Sail your smile into the air; it will reach and enliven me!
Breathe your fragrance into the air; it will sustain me!

Where are you, me beloved?
Oh, how great is Love!
And how little am I!

Khalil Gibran

Let Your Light Shine

Let Your Light Shine
by Ellen Bailey

Does the light of your soul still shine?
Is it still a beacon that others can find?
Or does a guilty conscience cover it like a film
Dulling its rays and causing it to look dim?

Do you tell yourself everything is just fine
Ignoring the needs of others as if blind?
What about those who have gone astray?
And those who are lonely and afraid?

Search your heart and see what you find
Ask yourself if you have been unkind
Good deeds alone will not get you into Heaven
Extend a helping hand to your fallen brethren

It will clear your conscience and erase your sins
And the light of your soul will be bright again
Others will look upon you as a beacon of hope
As down life's road they struggle and cope

Enduring Faith

Enduring Faith

I've dreamed many dreams that never came true,
I've seen them vanish at dawn,
But I've realized enough of my dreams, thank God,
To make me to want to dream on.

I've prayed many prayers when no answer came
Though I waited patient and long,
But answers have come to enough of my prayers
To make me keep praying on.

I've trusted many a friend that failed,
And left me to weep alone,
But I've found enough of my friends true blue,
To make me keep trusting on.

I've sown many a seed that fell by the way
For the birds to feed upon,
But I've held enough golden sheaves in my hands
To make me keep sowing on.

I've drained the cup of disappointment and pain
And gone many days without song,
But I've sipped enough nectar from the roses of life
To make me want to live on.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010



Religion is an important part of Indonesia. The religious influence on political, cultural and economical life is immense and not to be taken lightly. Most of the great monotheistic world religions are present, and also a number of "primitive" religions and beliefs among the not-so-civilized cultures in Kalimantan, Irian Jaya and so forth. There are some specialized strains of religious beliefs among some communities in Java, Bali, Sumatra as well, but the religions presented here will focus on the more known and wide spread variants: Islam, Christianity (Catholicism, Protestantism), Hinduism and Buddhism.

It is widely thought that Islam came to the northern tip of Sumatra sometimes during the 12th century and spread south and east until it had conquered the whole of the Indonesian archipelago. It it supposed to have come with muslim merchant trading with the courts on the long coastline. Therefore it became a trading religion, as opposed to the traditional hindu-buddistic religion adhered to by kings and princes.
It was not until Islam came in to the inland courts on Java that the religion started to spread with some speed. At the end of 14th century all kingdoms on Java was muslim and the remaining hindu kingdom fled to Bali.
Today, the most hard-core of the indonesian muslims lives in Aceh, the northern tip of Sumatra, where Islam is said to first take hold. They have always been fierce fighters, giving both the Dutch and the Indonesian state a hard time. Aceh strived for a long time for an independent Islamic state and has today a special status.
Going further south to Java the biggest islamic organisation today is Nadhlatul Ulama, NU. Their version on islam is a more relaxed one, building on traditional values as much an the Islamic scriptures.
Generally, Islam was a important political force during the dawn of nationalism from around 1900. One of the most important movement at that time was the modernistic Muhammadiyah established in 1912. The modernistic school wanted to purify Islam from local tradition (adat) and return to the original source of Islam, the Quran and the Hadith or Sunnah. They also wanted to modernize the Islamic world, often with ideas from western science.
Muhammadiyah took on its at first small shoulders to work in the modernist direction, but met resistence everywhere. It was not until 1925 when the chief of the Minangkabau on Sumatra recognized Muhammadiyah that the organisation grew, but then it almost exploded. In 1935 it had 250 000 members.
During both Sukarno and Suharto, the demand of a Islamic Indonesian state has been thoroughly subdued, even though some outbursts of violence has occured from time to time. Today, the situation is at best unstable. During the demonstrations from 1997 and up until Suhartos resignation, a lot of violence has occured, mostly against the Chinese (being a double threat, religious and economical), and the state didn't react until the state itself was threatened, and then it was to late. The demonstrations had grown from beating of Chinese to an general uprising against the appalling situation facing many of the Indonesians today.
So, Islam is still a political force today, even though politics in Indonesia takes mysterious ways...

The Dutch is the obvious reason for the introduction of Christianity in the Indonesian archipelago, and the Portugese has had a strong influence in East Timor. Other than that, there is really no reason for anyone to have become Christian in Indonesia. The introduction of a religion must travel with its followers, and the behaviour of the Dutch in their colony was never good.
During the Suharto take-over in 1965, everybody was forced to take a religion. If you didn't have a religion, you were a Communist, and if you were a Communist you must die. That meant that many Chinese took on Christianity, and fueled the conflict between them and the indigenous Indonesians even more.
There are some Christian enclaves in the Moluccas and on Kalimantan. The island of Flores is also mostly Christian.

Buddhism has very few, if any, followers today, and it has been mostly a Chinese religion the last centuries. But it was a strong religion before Islam, and ruled the courts on both Sumatra and Java at the time. The Borobudur temple is said to be Buddhist.

On the island of Bali, most people adhere to hinduistic beliefs, although it is far from what you see in India. But on Bali, religion is not separated from everyday life, like it is where you have churches or mosques. The Balinese people live their religion everyday and everywhere.

Religion in Indonesia

Religion in Indonesia
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Indonesia religions map
Religion plays a major role in life in Indonesia. It is stated in the first principle of the state ideology, Pancasila: "belief in the one and only God". A number of different religions are practiced in the country, and their collective influence on the country's political, economical and cultural life is significant.[1] As of 2007, the population was estimated as 234,693,997.[2] Based on the 2000 census, approximately 86.1% were Muslims consisting of Sufis, Shias and Sunnis, 5.7% Protestant, 3% are Catholic, 1.8% Hindu, 3.4% Buddhist and other or unspecified .[2]
The Indonesian Constitution states "every person shall be free to choose and to practice the religion of his/her choice" and "guarantees all persons the freedom of worship, each according to his/her own religion or belief".[3] The government, however, officially only recognizes six religions, namely Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism.[4][5]
With many different religions practised in Indonesia, conflicts between believers are often unavoidable. Moreover, Indonesia's political leadership has played an important role in the relations between groups, both positively and negatively, including the Dutch East Indies' Transmigration Program, which has caused a number of conflicts in the eastern region of the country.[6]
Contents [hide]
1 History
2 State recognised religions
2.1 Islam
2.2 Christianity
2.2.1 Protestantism
2.2.2 Roman Catholicism
2.3 Hinduism
2.4 Buddhism
2.5 Confucianism
3 Other religions and beliefs
3.1 Animism
3.2 Judaism
4 Inter-religious relations
5 See also
6 References
7 Notes

The Silk Road, connecting India and Indonesia
Historically, immigration has been a major contributor to the diversity of religion and culture within the country with immigration from India, China, Portugal, Arabian, and Netherlands.[7] However, these aspects have changed since some modifications have been made to suit the Indonesian culture.
Before the arrival of the Abrahamic faiths of Christianity and Islam, the popular belief systems in the region were thoroughly influenced by Dharmic religious philosophy through Hinduism and Buddhism. These religions were brought to Indonesia around the second and fourth centuries, respectively, when Indian traders arrived on the islands of Sumatra, Java and Sulawesi, bringing their religion. Hinduism of Shaivite traditions started to develop in Java in the fifth century AD. The traders also established Buddhism in Indonesia which developed further in the following century and a number of Hindu and Buddhist influenced kingdoms were established, such as Kutai, Srivijaya, Majapahit, and Sailendra.[8] The world's largest Buddhist monument, Borobudur, was built by the Kingdom of Sailendra and around the same time, the Hindu monument Prambanan was also built. The peak of Hindu-Javanese civilisation was the Majapahit Empire in the fourteenth century, described as a golden age in Indonesian history.[9]
Islam was introduced to Indonesia in the fourteenth century.[7] Coming from Gujarat, India, Islam spread through the west coast of Sumatra and then developed to the east in Java. This period also saw kingdoms established but this time with Muslim influence, namely Demak, Pajang, Mataram and Banten. By the end of the fifteenth century, 20 Islam-based kingdoms had been established, reflecting the domination of Islam in Indonesia.
The Portuguese introduced Catholicism to Indonesia, notably to the island of Flores and to what was to become East Timor.[10] Protestantism was first introduced by the Dutch in the sixteenth century with Calvinist and Lutheran influences. Animist areas in eastern Indonesia, on the other hand, were the main focus Dutch conversion efforts, including Maluku, North Sulawesi, Nusa Tenggara, Papua and Kalimantan. Later, Christianity spread from the coastal ports of Borneo and missionaries arrived among the Torajans on Sulawesi. Parts of Sumatra were also targeted, most notably the Batak people, who are predominantly Protestant today.[11]
Significant changes in religion aspect also happened during the New Order era.[12] Between 1964 and 1965, the tension between the Communist Party of Indonesia (Partai Komunis Indonesia or PKI) and the Indonesian government, along with some organisations, resulted in the worst mass murders of the twentieth century.[13] Following the incident, the New Order government had tried to suppress the supporters of PKI, by applying a policy that everyone must choose a religion, since PKI supporters were mostly atheists.[12] As a result, every Indonesian citizen was required to carry personal identification cards indicating their religion. The policy resulted in a mass religion conversions, topped by conversions to Protestantism and Catholicism (Christianity).[12] The same situation happened with Indonesians with Chinese ethnicity, who mostly were Confucianists. Because Confucianism was not one of the state recognised religions, many Chinese Indonesians were also converted to Christianity.[12]
[edit]State recognised religions


The Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta
Main article: Islam in Indonesia
Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim-majority country, with 88 percent of its citizens identifying as Muslim.[14] Traditionally, Muslims have been concentrated in the more populous western islands of Indonesia such as Java and Sumatra. In less populous eastern islands, the Muslim population is proportionally lower.[15] Most Indonesian Muslims are Sunnis. Around one million are Shias, who are concentrated around Jakarta while others are Sufi.[16]
The history of Islam in Indonesia is complex and reflects the diversity of Indonesian cultures.[15] In the 12th century many predominantly Muslim traders from India arrived on the island of Sumatra, Java and Kalimantan where the religion flourished between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries. The dominant Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms of the time, such as Majapahit and Sriwijaya, were in decline and the numerous Hindus and Buddhists mostly converted to Islam, although a smaller number, as in the notable case of Hindus immigrating to Bali, moved off Java and Sumatra.[15] Islam in Indonesia is in many cases less meticulously practiced in comparison to Islam, for example, in the Middle East region.[17]
Politically, parties based on moderate and tolerant Islamic interpretations have had significant, but not dominant success in the national parliamentary elections in 1999 and 2004. Hardline Islamist parties, however, have had little electoral success and their bases of support remain. One form of Islam, known as neofundamentalist,[18] adapted for new ways of thinking about the relationship between Islam, politics and society. Nonetheless, a number of fundamentalist groups have been established, including the Majelis Mujahiden (MMI) and their alleged associates Jamaah Islamiyah (JI).[18] The Islamist Justice and Prosperous Party (Partai Keadilan Sejahtera or PKS) has a different point of view from the neofundamentalists, notably the anti-Semitic views and anti-Western conspiracy theories of some of its members.[18]
Main article: Christianity in Indonesia
The Government of Indonesia officially recognizes the two main Christian divisions in Indonesia, Protestantism and Roman Catholicism, as two separate religions.
Main article: Protestants in Indonesia
Protestantism arrived in Indonesia during the Dutch East Indies (VOC) colonisation, around the sixteenth century. VOC policy to ban Catholicism significantly increased the percentage of Protestant believers in Indonesia.[11] Missionary efforts for the most part did not extend to Java or other already predominantly Muslim areas.[19] The religion has expanded considerably in the 20th century, marked by the arrival of European missionaries in some parts of the country, such as Western New Guinea and Lesser Sunda Islands.[20] Following the 1965 coup, all non-religious people were recognised as Atheist, and hence did not receive a balanced treatment compared to the rest of the citizens.[20] As a result, Protestant churches experienced a significant growth of members, partly due to the uncomfortable feeling towards the political aspirations of Islamic parties.
Protestants form a significant minority in some parts of the country. For example, on the island of Sulawesi, 17% of the citizens are Protestants, particularly in Tana Toraja and Central Sulawesi. Furthermore, up to 65% of the Torajan population is Protestant. The Batak from North Sumatra is also one of the major Protestant group in Indonesia. The Christianity was brought by Ludwig Ingwer Nommensen who is known as apostle to Batak people and started the Huria Kristen Batak Protestant church in Indonesia. In some parts of the country, entire villages belong to a distinct denomination, such as Adventist, International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, Lutheran, Presbyterian or Salvation Army (Bala Keselamatan) depending on the success of missionary activity.[21] Indonesia has two Protestant-majority provinces, which are Papua and North Sulawesi, with 60% and 64% of the total population consecutively.[22] In Papua, the faith is most widely practiced among the native Papuan population. In North Sulawesi, the Minahasan population centered around Manado converted to Christianity in the nineteenth century.[23] Today most of the population native to North Sulawesi practice some form of Protestantism, while transmigrants from Java and Madura practice Islam. As of 2006, 6% of the total citizens of Indonesia are Protestants.[22]
[edit]Roman Catholicism
Main article: Roman Catholicism in Indonesia

Cathedral in Jakarta
Catholicism arrived in Indonesia during the Portuguese arrival with spice trading.[20] Many Portuguese had the goal of spreading Roman Catholicism in Indonesia, starting with Moluccas (Maluku) in 1534. Between 1546 and 1547, the pioneer Christian missionary, Saint Francis Xavier, visited the islands and baptised several thousand locals.[24]
During the Dutch East Indies (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie) era, the number of Roman Catholicism practitioners fell significantly, due to VOC policy to ban the religion. The most significant result was on the island of Flores and East Timor, where VOC concentrated. Moreover, Roman Catholic priests were sent to prisons or punished and replaced by Protestant priests from the Netherlands.[20] One Roman Catholic priest was executed for celebrating Mass in a prison during Jan Pieterszoon Coen's tenure as Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies. After the VOC collapsed and with the legalization of Catholicism in the Netherlands starting around 1800, Dutch Catholic clergy predominated until after Indonesia's independence.
As of 2006, 3% of all Indonesians are Catholics, about half the number of Protestants at 5.7% The practitioners mostly live in Papua and Flores.
On September 22, 2006, there was a massive strike by Catholics, concentrated mainly on Flores Island following the execution of three Roman Catholic men.[25] Fabianus Tibo, Marinus Riwu, and Dominggus da Silva were convicted in 2001 of leading a Christian militia which killed at least 70 Muslims in 2000. However, human rights groups had questioned the fairness of the trial: claiming that although the three participated in the militia, they were not the leaders.[25]
Main article: Hinduism in Indonesia

Balinese Hindu woman placing daily offerings on her family shrine
Hindu culture and religion arrived in the Indonesian archipelago in the first century, later coinciding with the arrival of Buddhism,[26] resulting in a number of Hinduism-Buddhism empires such as Kutai, Mataram and Majapahit. The Prambanan Temple complex was built during the era of Hindu Mataram, during the Sanjaya dynasty. The greatest Hindu empire ever flourished in Indonesian archipelago was Majapahit empire. The age of Hindu-Buddhist empires lasted until the sixteenth century, when the archipelago's Islamic empires began to expand. This period, known as the Hindu-Indonesia period, lasted for sixteen full centuries.[27] The influence of Hinduism and classical India remain defining traits of Indonesian culture; the Indian concept of the god-king still shapes Indonesian concepts of leadership and the use of Sanskrit in courtly literature and adaptations of Indian mythology such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata.
Hinduism in Indonesia takes on a tone distinct from other parts of the world.[28] For instance, Hinduism in Indonesia, formally referred as Agama Hindu Dharma, never applied the caste system. Another example is that the Hindu religious epics, the Mahabharata (Great Battle of the Descendants of Bharata) and the Ramayana (The Travels of Rama), became enduring traditions among Indonesian believers, expressed in shadow puppet (wayang) and dance performances. Hinduism has also formed differently in Java regions, which were more heavily influenced by their own version of Islam, known as Islam Abangan or Islam Kejawen.[29]
All practitioners of Agama Hindu Dharma share many common beliefs, mostly the Five Points of Philosophy: the Panca Srada.[30] These include the belief in one Almighty God, belief in the souls and spirits and karma or the belief in the law of reciprocal actions. Rather than belief on cycles of rebirth and reincarnation, Hinduism in Indonesia is concerned more with a myriad of local and ancestral spirits. In addition, the religion focuses more on art and ritual rather than scriptures, laws and beliefs.[28]
The official number of Hindu practitioners is 10 million (2007),[31] and currently giving Indonesia the fourth largest number of Hindus in the world. This number is disputed by the representative of Hinduism in Indonesia, the Parisada Hindu Dharma. The PHDI gives an estimate of 18 million.[32] Of this number, 93% of the practitioners are located in Bali, the majority of the population of which is Hindu. Besides Bali, Sumatra, Java, Lombok and Kalimantan island also have significant Hindu populations. Central Kalimantan is 15.8% Hindu.
Sikhs are also registered as Hindus in Indonesia because Sikhism is not recognized as a religion by them.[33]
Main article: Buddhism in Indonesia

Buddhist pilgrims performing their rituals at Borobudur
Buddhism is the second oldest religion in Indonesia, arriving around the sixth century.[34] The history of Buddhism in Indonesia is closely related to the history of Hinduism, as a number of empires based on Buddhist culture were established around the same period. Indonesian archipelago has witnessed the rise and fall of powerful Buddhist empires such as Sailendra dynasty, Srivijaya and Mataram Empires. The arrival of Buddhism was started with the trading activity that began in the early of first century on the Silk Road between Indonesia and India.[35] According to some Chinese source, a Chinese traveler monk on his journey to India, has witnessed the powerful maritime empire of Srivijaya based on Sumatra. The empire also served as a Buddhist learning center in the region. A number of historical heritages can be found in Indonesia, including the Borobudur Temple in Yogyakarta and statues or prasasti (inscriptions) from the earlier history of Buddhist empires.
Following the downfall of President Sukarno in the mid-1960s, Pancasila was reasserted as the official Indonesian policy on religion to only recognise monotheism .[36] As a result, founder of Perbuddhi (Indonesian Buddhists Organisation), Bhikku Ashin Jinarakkhita, proposed that there was a single supreme deity, Sang Hyang Adi Buddha. He was also backed up with the history behind the Indonesian version of Buddhism in ancient Javanese texts, and the shape of the Borobudur Temple.
According to the 1990 national census, slightly more than 1% of the total citizens of Indonesia are Buddhists, which takes up about 1.8 million people.[34] Most Buddhists are concentrated in Jakarta, although other provinces such as Riau, North Sumatra and West Kalimantan also have a significant number of practitioners. However, these totals are likely high, due to the fact that practitioners of Confucianism and Taoism, which are not considered official religions of Indonesia, referred to themselves as Buddhists on the census.[34]
Main article: Confucianism in Indonesia

Confucian Temple in Bojonegoro, East Java.
Confucianism originated from China mainland and brought by Chinese merchants and immigrants. It is estimated as late as the 3rd century AD that the Chinese arrived in Nusantara archipelago.[4] Unlike other religions, Confucianism evolved more into loose individual practices and belief in the code of conduct, rather than a well-organized community religion, or way of life or social movement. It was not until the early of 1900s that Confucianists formed an organization, called Tiong Hoa Hwee Koan (THHK) in Batavia (now Jakarta).[4]
After the independence of Indonesia in 1945, Confucianism in Indonesia was affected by several political turmoils and has been used for some political interests. In 1965, Sukarno issued Presidential Decree No. 1/Pn.Ps/1965, in which there be six religions embraced by the Indonesian people, including Confucianism.[4] Earlier in 1961, the Association of Khung Chiao Hui Indonesia (PKCHI), a Confucianist organization, declared that Confucianism is a religion and Confucius is their prophet.
In 1967, Sukarno was replaced by Suharto, marking the New Order era. Under Suharto rule, the anti-China policy was applied to gain political support from the people, especially after the fall of Indonesian Communist Party, which is claimed to have been backed by China.[4] Suharto issued the controversial Presidential Instruction No. 14/1967, which practically banned Chinese culture, expression of Chinese belief, Chinese celebrations and festivities, as well as forcing many Chinese to change their name. However, Suharto knew how to handle Chinese Indonesian community that formed only 3% of the population, but gained a disproportionately large share of wealth and dominant influence in many key sectors of economy.[37] Yet, in the same year, Suharto addressed "The Confucian religion deserves a decent place in this country," in front of the PKCHI national convention.[4]
In 1969, Statute No. 5/1969 was passed and it re-iterated the official six religions from the 1967 presidential decree. However, it was different in practice. In 1978, the Minister of Home Affairs issued its directive that there are only five religions, excluding Confucianism.[4] On 27 January 1979, a presidential cabinet meeting took place and it firmly decided that Confucianism is not a religion. Another Minister of Home Affairs was issued in 1990 re-iterating about five official religions in Indonesia.
Hence the status of Confucianism in Indonesia in the New Order era was never clear. De jure, there were conflicting laws, as the higher law permitted Confucianism, but the lower law did not recognize it. De facto, Confucianists were not recognized by the government and they were forced to become Christians or Buddhists to maintain their citizenship. This practice was applied in many places, including in the national registration card, marriage registration, and even civics education in Indonesia taught school children that there are only 5 official religions.[4]
With the fall of Suharto in 1998, Abdurrahman Wahid was elected as the fourth president. Wahid lifted the Presidential Instruction No. 14/1967 and the 1978 Minister of Home Affairs directive. Confucianism is now officially recognized as religion in Indonesia. Chinese culture and all related Chinese-affiliated activities are now allowed to be practiced. Chinese and non-Chinese Confucianists have since then expressed their belief in freedom.
[edit]Other religions and beliefs

Animism has existed since Indonesia's earliest history, around the first century, just before Hindu culture arrived in Indonesia.[38] Furthermore, two thousand years later, with the existence of Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism and other religion, Animism still exists in some parts of Indonesia. However, this belief is not accepted as Indonesia's official religion as the Pancasila states the belief in the supreme deity, or monotheism.[38] Animism, on the other hand, does not believe in a particular god.
See also: Animism
See also: History of the Jews in Indonesia
There are small unrecognized Jewish communities in Jakarta and Surabaya. An early Jewish settlement in the archipelago was through the Dutch Jews who came along for the spice trade. In the 1850s, about 20 Jewish families of Dutch and German origins lived in Jakarta (then Batavia). Some lived in Semarang and Surabaya. Several Baghdadi Jews also settled in the island. Prior to 1945, there were about 2,000 Dutch Jews in Indonesia. In 1957, it was reported around 450 Jews remained, mainly Ashkenazim in Jakarta and Sephardim in Surabaya. The community has decreased to 50 in 1963. In 1997, there were only 20 Jews, some of them in Jakarta and a few Baghdadi families in Surabaya.[39]
Jews in Surabaya maintain a synagogue. They have little contact with Jews outside the country. There is no service given in the synagogue.[40]
[edit]Inter-religious relations

Although the Indonesian government recognizes a number of different religions, inter-religious conflicts have occurred. In the New Order era, former president Suharto proposed the Anti-Chinese law which prohibits anything related to Chinese culture, including names and religions.[41] Nevertheless, positive form of relations have also appeared in the society, such as the effort from six different religious organisations to help the 2004 Tsunami victims.
Between 1966 and 1998, Suharto made an effort to "de-Islamicise" the government, by maintaining a large proportion of Christians in his cabinet.[42] However, in the early 1990s, the issue of Islamisation appeared, and the military split into two groups, the Nationalist and Islamic camps.[42] The Islamic camp, led by General Prabowo, was in favour of Islamisation, while General Wiranto was in the Nationalist group, in favour of a secular state.
During the Suharto era, the Indonesian transmigration program continued, after it was initiated by the Dutch East Indies government in the early nineteenth century. The intention of the program was to move millions of Indonesians from over-crowded populated Java, Bali and Madura to other less populated regions, such as Ambon, Lesser Sunda Islands and Papua. It has received much criticism, being described as a type of colonisation by the Javanese and Madurese, who also brought Islam to non-Muslim areas.[6] Citizens in western Indonesia are mostly Muslims with Christians a small minority, while in eastern regions the Christian populations are similar in size or larger than Muslim populations. This more even population distribution has led to more religious conflicts in the eastern regions, including Poso and Maluku communal violence since the resignation of President Suharto.
The government has made an effort to reduce the tension by proposing the inter-religion co-operation plan.[43] The Foreign Ministry, along with the biggest Islamic organization in Indonesia, Nahdatul Ulama, held the International Conference of Islamic Scholars, to promote Islamic moderation, which is believed to reduce the tension in the country.[43] On December 6, 2004, the "Dialogue On Interfaith Cooperation: Community Building and Harmony" conference was opened. The conference, attended by ASEAN countries, Australia, Timor Leste, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea was intended to discuss possible co-operation between different religious groups to minimise inter-religious conflict in Indonesia.[43] The Australian government, represented by the Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, supported the dialogue by co-hosting it. On the issue of Ahmadiyyah community, Indonesia has failed to act and uphold their human rights. Several Ahmadi mosques were burnt in 2008. [44]. Several thousands of Ahmadis have become refugees within their own country in the past 4 years. The Indonesian government seems to have become hostage to the demands of extremist Islamic parties. [45] [46] There is an internal struggle going on between moderates and extremists in Indonesia, where the extremists align themselves with Al-Qaeda and Taliban Islam. They either condone or directly support violence and terroism. While the majority remains moderate and condemn such violence. [47]
[edit]See also

Indonesia portal
Culture of Indonesia
Javanese beliefs
v • d • e
Religion in Asia
v • d • e
Life in Indonesia

Bertrand J, Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict in Indonesia, Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2004, 278 pages, ISBN 0-521-81889-3. Retrieved October 22, 2006
International Coalition for Religious Freedom. (2004). "Indonesia". "Religious Freedom World Report". Retrieved September 6, 2006
Llyod G and Smith S, Indonesia Today, Lanham, Maryland : Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2001, 343 pages, ISBN 0-7425-1761-6
Shaw, E. "Indonesian Religions". "Overview of World Religions". Retrieved September 8, 2006
Bunge, F.M. (ed.) (1983). Indonesia: A Country Study. U.S. Library of Congress. Retrieved 2006-10-02.

^ "Instant Indonesia: Religion of Indonesia". Swipa. Retrieved 2006-10-02.
^ a b "Indonesia". The World Factbook. CIA. 2006-10-05. Retrieved 2006-10-13.
^ "The 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia". Retrieved 2006-10-02.
^ a b c d e f g h Yang, Heriyanto (2005). "The History and Legal Position of Confucianism in Post Independence Indonesia" (PDF). Religion 10 (1). Retrieved 2006-10-02.
^ Hosen, N (2005-09-08). "Religion and the Indonesian Constitution: A Recent Debate" (PDF). Journal of Southeast Asian Studies (Cambridge University Press) 36: 419. doi:10.1017/S0022463405000238. Retrieved 2006-10-26.
^ a b "Transmigration". Prevent Conflict. April 2002. Retrieved 2006-10-13.
^ a b "Indonesian Religions". Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Theology and Religion (PHILTAR). St. Martin's College. Retrieved 2006-10-02.
^ "The Period of Hindu Kingdoms". Embassy of Republic of Indonesia at Bangkok, Thailand. 2006. Retrieved 2006-10-17.
^ Pariwono, John I.; Abdul Gani Ilahude and Malikusworo Hutomo (December 2005). (PDF)Oceanography (The Oceanography Society) 18 (4): 8. Retrieved 2006-10-27.
^ (PDF) East Asia. OMF International. September 2003. Retrieved 2006-10-27.
^ a b Goh, Robbie B.H.. Christianity in Southeast Asia. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. p. 80. ISBN 9812302972. OCLC 61478898.
^ a b c d Bertrand, Jaques (2004). Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict in Indonesia. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-52441-5. OCLC 52920306 54081851 237830260 52920306 54081851.
^ Kahin, George McT. and Kahin, Audrey R. Subversion as Foreign Policy: The Secret Eisenhower and Dulles Debacle in Indonesia. New York: The New Press, 1995.
^ Suryodiningrat, Meidyatama (2006-10-02). "Who Are Indonesians?". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 2006-10-02.
^ a b c cf. Bunge (1983), chapter Islam.
^ Reza, Imam. "Shia Muslims Around the World". Retrieved 2009-06-11.
^ "Indonesia - Bhineka Tunggal Ika". Centre Universitaire d'Informatique. Retrieved 2006-10-20.
^ a b c Bubalo, Anthony; Greg Fealy (2005-10-5A). "Between the Global and the Local: Islamism, the Middle East, and Indonesia". Lowy Institute for International Policy and Australian National University. Global Politics. Retrieved 2006-10-04.
^ Vickers (2005), p.22
^ a b c d cf. Bunge (1983), chapter Christianity.
^ "Indonesia - (Asia)". Reformed Online. Reformed Online. Retrieved 2006-10-07.
^ a b "Number of Population by Religion Year 2005" (Indonesian). Ministry of Religion of Indonesia. Board for Statistics Center 2005. 2005. Retrieved 2006-10-02.
^ "History - Colonialism & Independence". North Sulawesi Tourism. Retrieved 2006-10-02.
^ Vermander, Benoit. "Francis Xavier and Asia: the road to cultural inventiveness". Academic director of Taipei Ricci Institute. International Study Commission. Retrieved 2006-10-07.
^ a b Heneroty, Kate (2006-09-22). "Indonesia execution of Catholic militants incites rioting". Retrieved 2006-10-07.
^ "Hinduism". OMF International UK. OMF International UK. Retrieved 2006-10-03.
^ "History on Indonesia". Indonesian Consulate General, Los Angeles, USA. Retrieved 2006-10-03.
^ a b cf. Bunge (1983), chapter Hinduism.
^ Lidde, R. William (August 1, 1996). "The Islamic Turn in Indonesia: A Political Explanation". Journal of Asian Studies (Association for Asian Studies) 55 (3): 613–634. doi:10.2307/2646448. ISSN 00219118. Retrieved 2006-10-27.
^ Suryani, Luh Ketut (2004). "Balinese Women in a Changing Society" (abstract page). Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry 32 (1: Special issue Women and Society): 213. doi:10.1521/jaap. 1546-0371. Retrieved 2006-10-27.
^ Indonesia International Religious Freedom Report 2007 - US State Department
^ [1] The United States Department of State Annual Report on International Religious Freedom for 2006 - Indonesia - September 2006] US State Department
^ Sikh
^ a b c "Buddhism in Indonesia". Buddha Dharma Education Association. Buddha Dharma Education Association. 2005. Retrieved 2006-10-03.
^ Flanagan, Anthony (2006). "Buddhist Art: Indonesia". About. Retrieved 2006-10-03.
^ cf. Bunge (1983), chapter Buddhism.
^ Michael Richardson. "Native Groups Seek Wealth Shift - Voluntary or Not : Indonesia Pressures Chinese". International Herarld Tribune. Retrieved 2006-10-02.
^ a b "Animism". PHILTAR. PHILTAR. Retrieved 2006-10-04.
^ "The Jewish Community of Indonesia". The Databases of Jewish Communities. Museum of the Jewish People. Retrieved 2006-12-15.
^ Larry Polansky. "The Surabaya, Indonesia Jewish Community". Retrieved 2006-12-15.
^ Effendi, Wahyu (2004-06-28). "Pembaharuan Hukum Catatan Sipil dan Penghapusan Diskriminasi di Indonesia". Retrieved 2006-10-13.(Indonesian)
^ a b "Intergroup Relations". Prevent Conflict. May 2002. Retrieved 2006-10-13.
^ a b c Embassy of Republic of Indonesia at Canberra, Australia (2004-12-06). "Transcript of Joint Press Conference Indonesian Foreign Minister, Hassan Wirajuda, with Australian Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer". Press release. Retrieved 2006-10-14.
Categories: Religion in Indonesia

Saturday, August 7, 2010

What is Religious Pluralism?

What is Religious Pluralism?
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Religious pluralism is a commonly-used term with several distinct meanings. Depending on the context, the term covers a wide variety of theological and philosophical discussions. At least four different concepts can be implied by religious pluralism, though each revolves around the central idea of different religious belief systems working together.

Religious pluralism is often used as synonym for religious tolerance, although the two concepts have distinct meanings. Religious tolerance implies that each person is entitled to their own set of beliefs without judgment or conformity to some cultural or societal standard. It is a doctrine of religious tolerance that is implicit in the United States Constitution, which grants the right to freedom of religion. While religious pluralism includes tolerance, it is a more broad term that asserts that possible religious truth and value exist in many different doctrines, not solely that of the particular individual.

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Some theologians argue that an omniscient deity, such as God, created all of the religions in order to speak to people in ways that most appeal or relate to their circumstances in life. As such, even though their customs are different, they are all from the same source. As a theological argument, religious pluralism suggests that if all religions are from the same original source, then all must be possessing of a similar truth. This argument stresses the similarities between religion, often citing common stories, figures and doctrines.

Suggesting that all religions have truth and value causes considerable problems for religions that preach an exclusivist idea. Some religions will assert, using quotes from their relevant texts, that their way is the only way to live correctly. A few go so far as to insist that those who do not convert will be punished in an afterlife, or should not be closely associated with here on earth. Doctrines such as this are difficult to resolve, and pluralists are often forced to resort to a tolerance doctrine, as it is paradoxical to embrace both an inclusivist and exclusivist view.

Pluralism has also come to mean the efforts between different denominations and different faiths to form an overall spiritual community. This is often used by leaders of the Christian faith to promote unity between the many different doctrines of Christianity. Because many religions have a similar basic goal or belief, proponents argue, they should be able to work together.

Those who identify themselves as practitioners of religious pluralism often mean that they have built their personal spiritual doctrine on a wide variety of traditional religious beliefs. Rather than subscribing to one particular religious sect, pluralists pick and choose which beliefs resonate with them, regardless of the source. Often, pluralists believe in relativism, which suggests that all possible explanations of religious beliefs must be equal, as no conclusive evidence proving one idea right has ever been found. Pluralists may attend many different spiritual services and rituals with traditional churches, or they may choose to focus on an individual spirituality.

Related topics Pluralism Religious Pluralism Pluralism Politics Political Pluralism Social Pluralism Democratic Pluralism Age Of Pluralism
The concept of religious pluralism is tricky, particularly in regards to logical analysis. Many religions flatly contradict one another on some points, making pluralists stuck in the middle on some arguments. The goal behind all definitions of religious pluralism is meant to unite people despite different backgrounds and belief systems. Historically, such efforts at promoting unity and inclusiveness in society have met with varying success, but are often praised as attempts to further society.

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Written by Jessica Ellis

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The real and lasting victories are those of peace, and not of war.