by Naomi MacMurdie
A diverse group of young Muslims, Catholics, Protestants, and Hindus participated in a unique program that gave them a new perspective on harmony in their various religious communities throughout Indonesia. Called the “Peace!Project,” the program was created by Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Indonesia to help youth develop a deeper understanding of their own and other religions and the values they all share in order to foster respect and friendship.
The most recent Peace!Project event took place on September 24, 2022, at the Hemadhiro Mettavati Temple, where 26 participants had the extraordinary opportunity to witness a Buddhist wedding blessing procession. They were later guided through the temple’s place of worship and a special meditation area, where they were greeted by dozens of statues portraying monks from around the world.
A statue of Buddha carved from a giant stone created by a volcanic eruption in Central Java overlooked the worship hall where the unlikely group participated in an engaging lecture session about Buddhism with the Temple Manager.
One of the participants, Markus, was excited to share his experience afterward saying, “It gives me a new insight about Buddhism. For me, it was very memorable that differences are not to be separated but complement each other in social life.”
In a surprising demonstration of how religious tolerance has grown in the area, this particular Buddhist temple includes a Muslim worship room. This alone is an illustration of Indonesia’s motto, “unity in diversity,” and the importance of living in harmony as one of the world’s most diverse societies.
Learn more about Indonesia’s peacebuilding programs Indonesia | Global Peace Foundation