IMO view: The effects of inter-religious tolerance
Indonesia is prominent for its diversity, such as religious diversity. However, there is a burden being borne by some groups in this country to appreciate this religious diversity. Many riots have happened that have brought misery to some minority groups. It shows that religious intolerance is beginning to develop and undermine the nation’s unity.
There are three effects of inter-religious tolerance for Indonesians. First, inter-religious tolerance fosters a sense of security among Indonesians. One of the ways to foster inter-religious tolerance is to conduct an inter-faith dialogue that generates solutions to any inter-religious issue and develops Indonesia as a peaceful place to live.
Sudrajat (2011) stated that righteous and conservative people provoke religious violence in Indonesia. These people are likely to think that their religion is the best, but barely acknowledge the religious differences among the population. Moreover, they tend to refuse any dialogue.
However, in fact, differences are avoidable in this multi-religious nation and inter-faith dialogue seems to be the best way to moderate people with inter-religious issues because according to Hanifah (2009), inter-religious dialogue is a social approach to develop tolerance. From the experiences shared in the dialogue, people from various religions will learn to accept the differences between them. They will find that every religion teaches love and good values and that all conflicts can be solved peacefully.
As a result, Indonesians will respect each other regardless of their religion. This will lead to a sense of security for each individual. Not surprisingly, people will sincerely greet one another on religious holidays, or be willing to lend out their homes to other people to celebrate their religious events, as always happens in Cigugur village in Kuningan, West Java (Wahono, 2011).
Second, inter-religious tolerance enhances the prosperity of Indonesians and increases the economy of Indonesia. Bangka Belitung Governor Eko Maulana Ali indicates that inter-religious conflicts only impede government efforts to develop a region (Kominfo, 2012). In fact, policy implementation requires social orderliness.
Moreover, if Indonesia is free from inter-religious conflicts, it will achieve high revenues from tourism (Pynchon, 2011). Certainly, the tourists will be more interested in visiting Indonesia if Indonesians live in harmony and peace.
Finally, inter-religious tolerance helps Indonesians win respect from other countries as a powerful country. As cited by Hamel (2008), Migdal states that a powerful country is a country that is able to control its people, like China and the United States. If Indonesians uphold tolerance, other nations will consider Indonesia a successful country.
Agnes Anya http://imo.thejakartapost.com/agnesanya/