Celebrating World Interfaith Harmony Week, Eco Bhinneka Promotes Interfaith Collaboration to Care for the Environment

Foto Bersama di Gereja

Eco Bhinneka Muhammadiyah is also celebrating World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW) from 1-7 February 2024 through a campaign on social media. As part of the Joint Initiative for Strategic Religious Action (JISRA) program which supported by the Faith to Action Network, Eco Bhinneka Muhammadiyah’s involvement in the World Interfaith Harmony Week was carried out to echo the good work that has been done by interfaith communities in preserving the environment, and voicing messages of peace from representatives of religious leaders, youth, women, government figures, as well as the management team of the Eco Bhinneka program.

“Eco Bhinneka has succeeded in providing a public space for people with various religious backgrounds to meet, discuss, and work together. “The result is that the straits of differences that have arisen on the basis of prejudice can be opened and resolved by themselves,” said an Eco Bhinneka activist, Ahsan Hamidi.

However, he gave 3 suggestions so that the JISRA program carried out by Muhammadiyah through Eco Bhinneka is sustainable in the future. “Firstly, JISRA must continue to concentrate its activities on young people and women. Second, regular meetings between religious leaders need to continue to be held regularly in various discussions with various themes. Third, government support is an indicator of the success of this program, because the government will maintain its sustainability,” he explained.

Eco Bhinneka Muhammadiyah menyelenggarakan Diskusi Lintas Iman

Intan Mustikasari as Regional Manager and PMEAL Eco Bhinneka, said that JISRA Eco Bhinneka Muhammadiyah works in 4 program location areas, such as in Pontianak (West Kalimantan), Ternate (North Maluku), Surakarta (Central Java), and Banyuwangi (East Java), has very proud achievements. “Almost 3 years after this program has been running, we have been able to break down the negative stereotypes of other religious communities towards Muhammadiyah in particular and Muslims in general,” she said. According to Intan, JISRA Muhammadiyah’s work can be openly accepted by other religious communities, both figures and young people. “They also enjoy doing activities together and fully support environmental conservation actions,” she added.

A similar thing was conveyed by Octavia Shinta Aryani, Regional Manager of Eco Bhinneka Pontianak, West Kalimantan. “JISRA Eco Bhinneka Muhammadiyah can now be known by the wider community and by religious or interfaith moderate communities,” said Shinta. “So that in various activities that promote religious moderation and interfaith, we are always included both as participants and as resource persons,” she said again.

Meanwhile, in Ternate, North Maluku, previously individuals from certain religions and other certain religions thought negatively of each other. However, after these individuals carried out activities with JISRA Eco Bhinneka Muhammadiyah, negative prejudice became easy to overcome. This was told by Usman Mansur as the Regional Manager of Eco Bhinneka there. “It turns out that friends who have different religions than us can accept us, and we also accept friends who have different religions completely. That our religion is radical is not true. That other religious friends are closed is also not true. That’s the proudest thing,” explained Usman.

In Banyuwangi, East Java and in Surakarta, Central Java, the JISRA Eco Bhinneka program, which is managed by a team from the Central Board of Nasyiatul Aisyiyah, now has assisted schools and villages. “Because we know that schools are the basis of education for children and teenagers, the basics of inter-religious harmony are instilled most effectively in a formal environment,” said Windarti, who currently actives as JISRA Indonesia’s Executive Body representing Nasyiatul Aisyiyah.

Eco Bhinneka Muhammadiyah Banyuwangi Menghadiri Undangan saat Malam Natal

Furthermore, Windarti explained that a village is the smallest unit of society in a country. “If these villages understand the importance of religious harmony, it will be a strong asset to become pillars of religious harmony in Indonesia,” explained the Regional Manager of Eco Bhinneka Banyuwangi.

Meanwhile, according to Hanifa Kasih Surahman, Regional Manager of Eco Bhinneka Surakarta, JISRA Eco Bhinneka Muhammadiyah is able to color other communities that are working on the issue of tolerance. “Tolerance programs often take the form of just discussions, but at JISRA Eco Bhinneka we use environmental issues as a bridge, a communication tool, to be able to dialogue together with other religions,” she added.

Triningsih as Finance and Program Coordinator Eco Bhinneka Muhammadiyah invites people from all religions in Indonesia to join in enlivening the World Interfaith Harmony Week. “Peace is not something you hope for, but rather something you should create, want, and do,” said Tri, a woman who is currently also active as the JISRA Indonesia Executive Body representing Muhammadiyah. “Let’s work together to maintain peace through efforts to preserve the environment,” she continued.

World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW) was introduced by the United Nations (UN) in 2010 to recognize the importance of dialogue between different religions and beliefs in increasing mutual understanding, harmony, and cooperation between people. Just like JISRA Eco Bhinneka Muhammadiyah, WIHW seeks to spread the message of harmony and tolerance. Year after year, this creates a focal point where everyone is doing good, and can realize that their shared values far outweigh their differences.

Everyone can participate in World Interfaith Harmony Week with various creative activities. These activities need to be published on social media using the hashtags #JISRA #Forb4All #wihw #wihw2024 #WorldInterfaithHarmonyWeek. Apart from that, everyone can also tagged or mentioned on Instagram @ecobhinneka. Further information about World Interfaith Harmony Week can be checked on the page https://worldinterfaithharmonyweek.com/how-to-participate/


Contributor: Dzikrina Farah Adiba, Communication and Partnership Manager Eco Bhinneka 

Editor : Dama

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