Education and Dialog for Peace in Indonesian Context


by Prof., Dr. Abdul Rahim Yunus, Indonesia



Education for Peace

Humans are born like white paper. The education that they gain in growth then shapes them to have good character or bad character. If someone in growth has been formed by an educational environment that is not good then he will grow as a person who does not have good character. Conversely, if a person is formed in a good educational environment, he will have a good character. Therefore, education has an important role to shape everyone’s character. Consequently, humans will be friendly, polite, tolerant and peaceful if they grow in a peaceful, tolerant, polite and friendly education environment.

In order to create a peaceful social life of the humans, we must start from the development of individual characters which is the basic formation of society. There are three environments that must be used to create an educational environment, firstly, family through informal education, secondly, the community environment through non-formal education, and thirdly, schools through formal education.

From an early age, children should be given peace education in these three environments if they want to provide children who love peace, respect for others, and tolerance in ethnic, cultural and religious differences. Peace education provided must be based on humanity, religion, culture and law that can be developed through curriculum for a compulsory peace education.

The value of peace should be a material of peace education from humanitarian aspects such as education on mutual assistance, togetherness, brotherhood, mutual love and respect and so on as good characters agreed upon by all humans, as well as leave away from hostility, division, insulting, and various other bad character of humans. Where as  from the religious aspect, the value of peace is strengthened by teaching and practicing the peace values from a number of holy verses of all religions, the words of God’s messengers, concrete examples of the prophets carrying religious religion, the views of clergy, monks, priests and others who love peace and uphold religious tolerance, and inclusiveness in religion. In terms of culture, peace education is realized by making the values of peace as a cultural pillar that colors the lives of everyday children. The cultural side is increasingly solid if it is supported by legal aspects concerning legislation such as democracy, nationalism, gender, local wisdom and the like.

The curriculum is adjusted to each educational environment. In formal education in schools, peace education is held from kindergarten to university with two choice models, namely peace education material is integrated in all subjects or the peace education material is a separated curriculum sourced from the three aspects namely humanism, religious and law.



Dialog for Peace

            Dialogue is the best way to minimize differences and to enlarge the equation. Dialogue based on good intentions can find common ground for differences. The importance of dialogue in Islam so that the Holy book of muslim community, al-Qur’an as a magnum opus of Islamic teachings,  affirms that two-way dialogue are argue from both sides is better than those who only give advice in the form of wisdom in one direction only. It is said in Qur`an: In it recited: “Invited (all) to the way Of the Lord with wisdom And beautiful preaching; And dialog or  argue with them In ways that are best And most gracious”.[1] The existence of differences between people is a necessity as a provision of God, human differences consisting of several races and tribes are also a provision of Allah, and religious differences are also a provision of God so that imposing a religious belief on others is not permitted. According the Islamic. In Islamic teaching, it is recited in its Holy Book, said: “Let there be no compulsion In religio” ( 256) In Christianity teaching also ask not to imposing religion but suggest to all humankind without see what the background of their religion to built blessing and love together, as Yesus Cristus say:  “Kasihilah Allah dengan bulat hatimu dengan segenap manusia seperti dirimu sendiri”.[2] And in Roma Letter 12: 10 mentioned:  “Hendaklah kamu saling mengasihi sebagai saudara dan saling mendahului dalam memberi hormat.”[3]  Buddhist also argue  His communities   if they would  like to perform love together and  each other for all mankind. His say: “Kebencian akan berakhir jika dibalas dengan cintakasih”.[4] And another side He said: “Rasa belas kasihan yang ada pada dirinya sendiri, (bila) dipergunakan untuk mencintai semua makhluk yang mengalami penderitaan, dicurahkan untuk melakukan sesama rasa kasihan itu, setelah melaksanakan rasa kasih sayang sebagai mana halnya ia mencintai sesama manusia, inilah yang diebut Satwalambana-Karunia.”[5] In Buddhism, Mahatma Gandi said: “Agama bukanlah diturunkan untuk memisahkan manusia satu dari yang lain melainkan untuk mempersatukan umat manusia; Malang sekali bahwa dewasa ini agama sudah terlalu jauh didistorsi sehingga dijadikan sebagai dalih paling kuat untuk berselisih dan berbunuh-bunuhan.”[6]

Although differences in religion and ethnicity are God’s provisions, these differences sometimes become a source of division and war that sacrifice many lives and property. Even the most unfortunate is the difference in schools in Islam has brought conflict and division among Muslims. This phenomenon is contrary to the substance of religion teaching how human can live in harmony and peace. In the Al-Qur’an, it is stated that humans are one community, so the prophets were sent to reconcile them. This is said in Islamic Holy Book: “all mankind is one ummat (one community), and to make them in peace, God send His messengers to them..(Q.S. al-Baqarah 213).  Given the substance of religion to teach peace, religion must be maintained so that it does not become a source of division between people especially between those who are one religion. To bring about peace in human life both in same religion and in different religions, Islam teaches the importance of building unity and brotherhood between religious and Muslim communities of different schools and schools. There are three types of ukhuwah or brotherhood which are taught to be implemented in human life namely ukhuwah basyariyah (brotherhood in humanism), ukhuwah wathaniyah (brotherhood  nationalism, and ukhuwah imaniyah (brotherhood in belief)

Dialogue to strengthen brotherhood (ukhuwah) in addressing religion and school differences is very important and recommended especially in the teachings between adherents of different religions or different schools in every religion (Islam, Christianity, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism). Through dialogues of teachings, understanding can be achieved both understanding in similarities and differences. Understanding of these similarities and differences is important to remember that religions revealed by God in addition to having many similarities also have many differences. The difference in every  religion such as in Islam,  Christianity, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism  is also much more because the scholars have made a lot of efforts to understand religion and have implications for the emergence of many different schools even though they actually originate from the same source, from the al-Qur`an for community of Islam, from Gospel or New Testament for community of Christianity. In order to understand unrelated schools, one must understand the original source of the schools in question proportionally and must not understand it from the communities as long as it is hostile to the schools. A Sunni, for example, in Islam who wants to learn about Shia should go to Iran as the origin. This is where the importance of building a dialogue between people who are different from schools in every religion. Dialogue does not aim to find the right one between two different communities but also aims to build understanding of both the understandings in equality or difference.

  Dialogue between one community of one religion with another religion or between  one  schools in the internal every religion`s community is very important because it can bring about harmonization of life while minimizing conflict. Dialogue like this can be achieved if done with the following norms or principles:

  1. Each group that is different from the school considers their dialogue partners as one religion because they worship God and follow the Qur’an and the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad)
  2. In the dialogue there is willingness from each group to not question the difference. The differences are accepted as grace which means that these differences can complement and perfect each other. The difference can also be an alternative choice, all of which are acknowledged as true.
  3. Dialogue is done not to find the right one from two different schools, but more important is to look for the causal factors of the difference.



Care for Peace in Indonesia With Dialog and Education

            The norms or  principles of dialogue above has become a reference for the Religious Harmony Forum (FKUB) in Indonesia in carrying out its function to realize peace and harmony between religious communities. FKUB in Indonesia is a forum formed jointly by religious leaders in Indonesia. There are six religions that are officially recognized by the State, namely Islam, Christianity, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism. Even so, other religions in the world are not prohibited from being adopted in this country, because the 1945 Constitution which is the basis of the State provides guarantees and freedom to adhere to its religion and carry out religious teachings freely without prohibition. The birth of the agreement of religious leaders from the six religions above to live in harmony and peace is stated in the Decree Together with the Indonesian Minister of Religion and the Minister of Home Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia. In the decree, it was stated that in order to create harmony between religious communities, in each province and the regencies of cities in Indonesia were formed FKUB.


            FKUB administrators consist of representatives of every religion that has followers in the area. The duties of FKUB in carrying out their functions are to maintain and maintain peace and harmony, as follows:


  1. Carry out inter-religious dialogue
  2. Socialize the rules and regulations regarding religious harmony.
  3. Accommodating religious aspirations and channeling aspirations to the parties in caring for and maintaining harmony and peace in their respective regions throughout Indonesia.
  4. Creating a harmonious life, peace and harmony for religious community.


            The creation of peace and harmony between religious communities in the world as a whole is the mandate of the Republic of Indonesia. In muqaddimah the 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia states that: “to realize … then based on the Almighty Godhead, humanity of the 1945 Constitution which states there are five State Principles mentioned above, it is affirmed that Indonesia must play a role and participate in realizing world peace, in addition to creating the welfare of all citizens.


            To realize these roles and functions, a nation that has pluralism and multiculturalism in culture, ethnicity, race, class, and religion has built togetherness, unity and unity in the life of a country that is religious, humanistic, unity, democracy and just.

With the values ​​of the five bases of the country, the Indonesian nation with a population of more than 260 million or the world’s fourth most populous country, and more than 1300 tribes, local cultures and languages, and six religions and a number of religious sects can live together to create harmony and peace in the container of the Republic of Indonesia.


            In fact, according to Geertz, this country is not only multi ethnic, and ethnic and cultural and religious, but also a battlefield for various multi-mental influences, and ideology (India, China, Portuguese, Buddhism, Confucianism, Islam, Christianity, Capitalism, sociacism, and others). Indonesia is not a single State building. Religion is a necessity of Indonesia.[7]


            With such an Indonesian anatomy, since its formation, the founding fathers of the freedom fighters designed Indonesia as a country that is not a religious state that has only one group of one religion, or only one group of one tribe, or just one ethnic group, but shared property. Every person, regardless of religion or ethnicity and language, has the same position, rights and obligations before the State. However, Indonesia is also not a secular country that ignores religious values. The five basic states contained in the basis of the Pancassila state are based on the values ​​and teachings in Indonesia. Because the core of the State guarantees every believer to worship according to the teachings of his religion. In seizing Indonesia’s independence, all groups, tribes, races, groups and religions participated together. For this reason, the Indonesian State Basis is a philosophy known as Pancaila. Pancasila is able to unite and glue Indonesian citizens who are multicultural and pluralism of religion in the container of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI), which is based on Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution, with the motto of Unity in Diversity.(Bhinneka Tunggal Ika)


            To remain upright and firm and to develop and develop a multi-religious Republic of Indonesia, the religious harmony program has become the government’s priority program under the responsibility of the Indonesian Ministry of Religion and the Ministry of Home Affairs. The Ministry of Religion in carrying out the religious harmony program builds a harmony trilogy, namely: First, inter-religious harmony, Second, internal harmony of religious communities, and Third, inter-religious harmony and government.


            Council of religious assemblies under the coordination of FKUB has an important and strategic role in the success of the program of religious harmony built by the government. This happened because the assembly of religious assemblies was a place to gather all religious organizations. The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) is a forum for ulama, zuama, and Muslim scholars from Islamic organizations such as NU, Muhammadiyah Association, Washliyah Jamaah, Islamic Union, Wahdah Islamiyah, and others. Christians have a place in which sects are found in Christianity in Indonesia. The container is called INDONESIAN CHURCHES (PGI). For Indonesian Buddhists (WALUBI), for the Catholic Religion in the Wali Gereja Indonesia diocese (KWI). In accordance with the number of religions, the six religious assemblies in Indonesia each have a program to organize and create harmony for the maintenance of peace and harmony trilogy. Muslims are organized by the Indonesian Ulema Council (UMI), Christians are organized by the Alliance Council of Indonesian Churches (PGI), the Catholics are organized by the Indonesian Council of Churches Diocese (KWI), Hindus are organized by the Hindu Parisada assembly, Buddhists are organized by The Trustees of the Buddhist Community (WALUBI), and the Conghucu Community were organized by the Indonesian Confucian Higher Council (MATAKIN).


            FKUB has an important role to maintain and maintain peace in Indonesia through the harmony of life between religious communities and the harmony of internal life of each religion through each religious assembly. religious organizations in every religious assembly through preachers, ustas, pastors, priests, monks, and religious scholars routinely convey messages of peace and harmony with the religious language of their respective congregations.

They always meet with their worshipers in places of worship or in places where services deliver peaceful and harmonious messages to their respective worshipers. They become role models and examples for their respective people. Scholars, clerics, priests, priests, monks and religious and religious scholars in each religion became trumpets who continuously voiced their lives harmoniously and harmoniously to all their worshipers and people.


            There are two kinds of interfaith dialogue that were built by FKUB in South Sulawesi (Indonesia). The first ONE  is the dialogue of teachings, and the second dialogues are jointing  program activities. The teaching dialogue aims to understand each other. HWPL last year had a dialogue of teachings with the South Sulawesi FKUB 13 times. This teaching dialogue is very useful to create peace and understanding with each other.


           The efforts of the government and people and religious organizations to maintain harmony and to realize peace in Indonesia are  focused also in the  field  of education`s aspect. Education as mentioned before is the best means and tool  and container in the formation of human character, especially education at an early age. Humans according to John Lock were born like white paper, in its growth, its character is shaped by its environment, especially its educational environment. In Islam, the Prophet Muhammad have said: “everybody who come in to being, is come with pure existence, and his experience shape his character.” According to this recited, the education has very  important roll an function for conducting everyone to make him be a good or a bad human.

             For this reason, all ministries in Indonesia  that manage education, especially the Ministry of Religion, and the Ministry of National Education include the values ​​of peace in the subject curriculum of the schools they manage ranging from elementary school to high school level. The values ​​of peace are based on the values ​​of all religions and the values ​​of Pancasila (Five Principle). The curriculum of religious subjects is very full of moral values, noble character and morals, as well as the values ​​of Pancasila, as a way of life of Indonesian Nation. And Indonesian education system can become a rule  model or the example system   for maintaining of world peace and harmony and cessation of  war over the world as a grand aim and vision  of HWPL. 



[1] Q.S al-Nahl : 125

[2] Abd Rahim Yunus, “Pendidikan Toleransi dalam Konteks Indonesia” dalam Teaching for Tolerance in the Indonesian Contects (Makassar, UIN Alauddin Press,) hal 3.

[3] Baca Lembaga al-Kitab Indonesia, Perjanjian Baru (Jakarta, 2004), hal. 52.

[4] Ibid.,  hal. 3.

[5] Departemen Agama RI, Sanghyang Kamahayanikam, (Jakarta: Proyek 15 Penerjemahan Kitab Suci Hindu dan Budha, 1973), hal. 117.

[6] Harifuddin Cawidu, “Mengembangkan Wawasan Keagamaan Multi Kultural Melalui Dialog Pemuka Agama Pusat dan Daerah” makalah disajikan dalam Temu Nasional Pemuka Agama se Indonesia di Makassar pada 15-16 Januari 2013, hal. 4.

[7] Syfi`I, MA, Nilai Nilai Kearifan Lokal, (Medan: Perdana Publishing, 2018, p.80).




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