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Jakarta Post

RI wins US praise for religious tolerance

  • Lilian Budianto

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, January 26 2010   /  09:54 am

Indonesia’s religious tolerance has won praise from the US government and civil society groups despite concerns that the country may tilt toward more radical Islamic ideas, with several regions enacting sharia-based bylaws and hardliners reportedly trying to stifle pluralism.Indonesia and the US kicked off a three-day interfaith dialogue Monday in Jakarta to deepen bilateral cooperation and cultural relations.The 20-member US delegation is led by Pradeep Ramamurthy, senior director for global engagement of the White House National Security Council. The Indonesian delegation comprises 30 people from religious organizations, including Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah, and is headed by Andri Hadi, the Foreign Ministry’s director general for information and public diplomacy.A member of the US delegation, William F. Vendley, who is the secretary-general of Religions for Peace, said the Am...