YOGYAKARTA- Indonesia is a pluralistic and religious country. This fact indirectly increased possibilities for intersection of interests and horizontal conflicts related to religious ideology. To avoid these, every citizen is obliged to understand and apply the values of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (diversity in unity), which has become the adhesive for the difference in the diversity of the Indonesian people, including about religion.
Unfortunately, so far the role of religion is still limited to deal with domestic problems, such as leadership, internal conflict, and scriptural interpretation. With that condition, the UGM Centre of Pancasila Studies (PSP) together with SIT, Study Abroad Bali, were trying to explore deeper into the religious life in Indonesia and religious plurality in the view of Indonesian university students through a discussion. The discussion on the theme Harmonizing Religious Life in Indonesia is expected to provide enlightenment, encouraging the public to understand and respect each other and be able to establish a good relationship between believers," said Chairman of the Committee, Diasma Sandi Swandaru, on the sidelines of the discussion at the Center, Tuesday (22/2) afternoon.
Diasma added that religious tolerance became one of the main requirements to maintain harmony in diversity. Awareness of the diversity is the basis of the recognition of six religions, namely Islam, Catholicism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism by the government. If the diversity is not preserved, maintained, and respected, it could foster an attitude of mutual suspicion between the groups or classes, which eventually lead to division and conflict among the society. "Religion should be able to maintain and provide peace for adherents and mankind," he added.
Religion has also a strategic role to develop the attitude of maturity, tolerance, mutual help, and more importantly, a huge contribution to the sustainability of national and state life. As one example, religion should be able to play an active role in responding to the nation's problems such as poverty, social conflict, education, and health.
The discussion that presents researcher, Prof. Dr. dr. Sutaryo, Sp.A (K), was also attended by the interfaith community or religious-based Student Activity Unit from various campuses in Yogyakarta and 17 students from the United States participating in the Spring 2011 program. "The results of this discussion can also be expected to find out what the activities of religious-based student units are and to establish unity between adherents," Diasma concluded.