(MASYARAKAT DIALOG ANTAR AGAMA)
S I D A
(SOCIETY FOR INTER-RELIGIOUS DIALOGUE)
Address : Jl. Imam Bonjol 39, Jakarta 10310
Tel/Fax : (62 21) 327478 - (62 21) 3918529
e-mail : email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
STOP the slaughter!
Papers and Images from the Trialogue
In light of the recent rapid social, political and economic developments in Indonesia, we, the members of MADIA (Masyarakat Dialog Antar Agama) or SIDA (Society for Inter-Religious Dialogue) feel compelled to state our convictions and views, and to appeal to all well-intentioned people and parties, as follows:
Committee, Members and Supporters of SIDA
As you know, Indonesia now facing a very critical situation, not only in terms of economic but, more importantly, in the basic of our existence itself. In light of that situation, SIDA (Society for Inter-Religious Dialogue) or MADIA (Masyarakat Dialog Antar Agama) recently released a statement of concern and an appeal concerning our present situation in Indonesia. We are very concerned with the dangerous situation that can lead to the disintegration process in Indonesia.
Here I forwarded our concern and appeal. Please feel free to give us comment, and please join us in prayer for Indonesia. If you agree, please distribute this statement of concern and appeal to your friends or to whom it may concern. We believe that "PRAYER CAN CHANGE THINGS". Hope you agree with us.
M A D I A
(MASYARAKAT DIALOG ANTAR AGAMA)
AN EXPERIMENT NAMED MADIA
MADIA (Masyarakat Dialog Antar Agama), or in English SIDA (Society for Inter- Religious Dialogue), was born out of a hope. Or even a utopia, a vision of the future as yet unclearly formed, yet inviting further exploration. Because everything begins with shared hopes.
MADIA grew out of relaxed discussions, informal chats between individuals and groups with diverse roots, which then began to resonate with a common purpose. On 10 November 1996, which coincidentally is National Hero's Day, these individuals and groups decided to meet to share their concerns and hopes in the office of the late KAIROS, a church-based monthly magazine. In attendance that day, in their personal capacities, were people from a wide variety of religious backgrounds: Paramadina, KWI (Indonesian Bishops' Conference), The Center for Research and Development of the Indonesian Churches Association (PGI), IAIN (National Institute of Islamic Religion) Jakarta, and KAIROS as the host. The concerns and hopes that flowed and developed that day became shared concerns and shared hopes, which began to bind the members of MADIA together.
The seeds of MADIA had been planted. The common concern of MADIA's members was that the walls between religions and faiths in the nation were strengthening, leaving less and less room for sincere, honest, open and critical inter-religious dialogue. We were concerned that the history of interaction between the various religions and faiths, both nationally and internationally, had been coloured by mutual suspicion, chauvinism, condescension, traumatic conflicts and exclusive and arrogant theologies.
On the other hand, we were bound together by a shared realization of the imperative for dialogue, which we saw as perhaps the most important imperative of the future. We were convinced that due to the frenetic flow of modern communication, dialogue between religions had become more important than ever before, and would become an undeniable part of each religion and faith in the coming millennium.
We believed that the heritage of each religion and faith would have to be examined critically and re-formulated as a result of dialogues between different religions and faiths. In other words, we were convinced that inter-religious dialogue would play an important role in the future 'fate' of all religions and faiths. We also believed that the imperative for dialogue was a personal calling in line with our own spiritual destinies. This awareness underpinned our hopes, and challenged us to take concrete steps to foster mutual understanding between religions and faiths, and to create a forum where different religions and beliefs could meet to share experiences, concerns, and hopes. Through this forum, we hoped to nurture deeper inter-religious and inter-belief understanding, and thereby create a new domain where our religious and spiritual heritage is scrutinized and creatively redefined through genuine and meaningful dialogue.
The above convictions culminated in our decision to form MADIA as a forum for dialogue. Subsequent meetings were held in the PGI conference room, where Confucianists, Buddhists, Brahma Kumaris Sisters began to play an active role. As a starting point, we decided to hold monthly inter-religious dialogues. Our first dialogue was sponsored by Paramadina. Thus, MADIA was officially born.
As a vehicle for dialogue, MADIA is very "fluid" and open to participation from any party. With such openness, it is not surprising that types of beliefs and spirituality that are not officially recognized by the government have also played a role, as seen from the participation of Brahma Kumaris Spiritual Tradition and the Baha'i religion. The creation of an organization was not our main priority, and from the beginning MADIA was at heart an experiment. There was no official membership in MADIA; there were no official staff except for a coordinator who served mainly to communicate with the diverse parties involved.
The experiments in dialogue continued for two years, until national upheavals compelled us to address the organizational issues that we had tended to put off. In short, we felt we needed a formal organization in order to effectively tackle the serious inter-religious issues that began to be seen at work in the Situbondo riots of 1996 and in the mistreatment of our Confucian colleagues. In line with these developments, our dialogues became more socially oriented, and MADIA began to enter the world of politics for the first time.
Dialogues were held in a variety of venues -- belonging to Moslem, Christian, Confucian and other organizations according to which religion or faith was sponsoring each meeting. Another unique feature of the MADIA experiment was that the prayers used to open and close each meeting were performed according to religious or spiritual persuasion of the host venue. Thus, we all learnt to pray with our Moslem, Catholic and Buddhist friends, and learnt to meditate in the spiritual heritage of Brahma Kumaris. In MADIA, we celebrated diversity, which we believe is a gift from God, the Creator and Protector of Life.
Each of us feels that the experience of attending two years of the MADIA experiment has enriched and expanded our respective religious convictions and perspectives. And the concerns and hopes which bound us together at the beginning have continued to strengthen. Even so, we all realize that the concerns that have motivated MADIA remain a vast and increasingly complex challenge and there is much work to do. Yet we believe that our calling to foster honest, critical, and respectful dialogue between religions and faiths will continue to unite and bind us together in rising to the challenge. The vision of a utopia continues to beckon as we strive together to move closer to God the Creator and Protector of Life.
We invite you and all well-intentioned people to join us in celebrating the diversity that we have inherited, to deepen our understanding and respect for all religions and faiths, and to enrich our religious perspectives and convictions in the process.
MADIA'S INNER CIRCLE:
MADIA'S ACTING PERSONS:
Vice Chairperson : John D. Soleyman
Second Vice Chairperson : Budhy Munawar Rahman
Secretary : Jeirry Sumampow
Vice Secretary : Trisno S. Sutanto
Treasury : Chandra Setiawan
Vice Treasury : H.S. Achadiena
ANTI - CORRUPTION REFORM
Date: Thursday February 17, 2000
Venue: The Borobudur Hotel, Jakarta
Time: 8:30am – 4:30pm
Andrew Trigg's article concerning confrontation of students and military
"Dialogue and Democratization: The Challenge for Indonesia":
Colloquium to be held at Sharpless Hall Auditorium, Haverford College, 370 Lancaster Avenue, Haverford, PA 19041, Friday December 11, 1998, 7:30 P.M.
University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.
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Webpage Editor: Ingrid H. Shafer, Ph.D.
e-mail address: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted 4 June 1998
Last revised 7 May 2002
Web-edition copyright © 1998-2002 Ingrid H. Shafer