The lecture on topic “Development of Interreligious Harmony in Indonesia: Best Practice of Joined Regulations between the Ministry of Religious Affairs and the Ministry of Home Affairs“ organized by the University of Sarajevo in collaboration with the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in BiH took place in the UNSA Rectorate’s Grand Hall on Thursday, 17 April 2014.

UNSA Rector, Prof. Dr. Muharem Avdispahić, D. h. c, delivered and address of welcome in which he said that the international dimension laid at the heart of any university that was worth of its name. “In this globalized world, its future will substantially depend on the success of interreligious dialogue, more precisely – on the extent to which the voice of those who speak of interreligious harmony will be heard. We in Bosnia are aware of the vital significance of interreligious dialogue in our society, in our region, as well as of the importance that Europe in its self-understanding recognize the impact and contributions of all Abrahamic traditions on shaping its being” said Rector Avdispahic.

By making an emphasis on the link between B&H and Indonesia that is not just religious, but cultural and spiritual one, H.E. Subijaksono Sujono, Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to BiH said the following in his welcome address: “The world today is facing global problems, such as climate change, famine, poverty, natural disasters and so on. To solve those problems, it is important that we work together in peace and harmony. Religions can contribute positively to overcome those problems and functions as a means to achieve harmony and solidarity. We hope that through harmony and solidarity we can achieve our common objectives, to live in peace and harmony and prosperity” stated Ambassador Sujono.

Prof. Dr. Faisal Ismail from the State Islamic University Sunan Kalijaga UIN Yogyakarta in Indonesia delivered the lecture on developing of the interreligious harmony in Indonesia. From 2006 to 2010, he was the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to Kuwait. Also, he was the Ministry of Religious Affairs’ Secretary General from 2002 to 2006 and Head of the Department for Religious Research and Education at the Indonesian Ministry of Religious Affairs.

When speaking about the Indonesia, its diversity in unity and multiculturalism politics, he said that Indonesia had gained its independence on 17 Aug 1945, that geographically Indonesia consisted of more than 17.000 islands and some 300 ethnic groups who spoke different languages and had distinctive socio-cultural traditions.

“Indonesia is based on Pancasila (‘Five Pillars’): Belief in One Supreme God, Just and Civilized Humanity, Indonesian Unity, Democracy based on Representation and Deliberation, and Social Justice for all Indonesian people” said Professor Ismail. He also added that with Pancasila as the basis, the Indonesian State is not a ‘confessional’ state, nor a ‘purely’ secular state either and that religious life makes the part of public life.