Religions for Peace Asia Interfaith Youth Peace Camp 2017
We, the members of the Religions for Peace Asia & the Pacific Interfaith Youth Network (APIYN), have gathered in Jakarta, Indonesia from 12th to 15th December 2017 for the 4th Religions for Peace Asia Interfaith Youth Peace Camp. Convened with the theme “Raising Awareness on Climate Change: Our Earth, Our Responsibility”, we are inspired by our Indonesian brothers and sisters as they teach us the Indonesian value Gotong Royong for our Earth, it means taking common actions together to help each other. The conference brought together around sixty multi-religious youth from eight religions: Baha’I, Buddhism, Cheon-do-gyo, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Sun-tao, and Won-Buddhism; representing ten countries: Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Japan, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, and Sri Lanka. The camp was hosted by the ACRP Seoul Peace Education Center (SPEC) and jointly organized by Religions for Peace Asia & the Pacific Interfaith Youth Network (APIYN), Religions for Peace Asia/ACRP, and Religions for Peace Indonesia in cooperation with Youth Muhammadiyah (Pemuda Muhammadiyah).
Since the Asian Religious Youth Camp held in Seoul, South Korea in 2014, APIYN has mobilized the Asian youth to confront some of our most urgent challenges. Especially, since December 2015, APIYN focused to work on three issues, namely Violent Religious Extremism, Refugee Crisis, and Climate Change. These issues were highlighted in the Global Interfaith Youth Summit held in Paris, France in 2015 and echoed during the 2015 APIYN Camp in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where the Asian youth were called to put faith into action in order to respond to global concerns. Based on the trend of RfP interfaith youth activities, the special focus of the youth camp in 2016 was placed on the poor’s vulnerability to Climate Change in Manila, Philippines and launched “Our Earth, Our Responsibility” Campaign.
What we’ve learned from Opening ceremony & Visit to religious sites
The discussions we had during the Camp were guided by the inspiration given to us by our distinguished speakers. The Governor of DKI Jakarta, Mr. Anies Rasyid Baswedan, provided a wonderful history of Indonesia, emphasizing unity in diversity. In the opening ceremony at the State Palace of Vice-President of Republic of Indonesia, senior political leaders in Indonesia and religious leaders of Religions for Peace inspired us, the Asian religious youth leaders, to combat climate change. Chairman of Muhammadiyah Central Board, Prof. Dr. Bahtiar Effendy emphasized on the importance of interfaith activities in the common action against climate change. The Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia, Mr. Muhammad Jusuf Kalla, sincerely encouraged and expected us to commit to global issues and work together. ACRP Senior Advisor, Rev. Masamichi Kamiya and ACRP SPEC Director, Rev. Teasung Kim emphasized on the fact that the “Youth are the future” of the world, and that the APIYN is the future of ACRP. Religious youth leaders also deeply and scientifically comprehended the causes and effects from Climate Change and were stimulated to do specific practices and actions from the passionate keynote speeches from Prof. Pablito Baybado Jr. and Prof. Dr. Din Syamsuddin. While we were on our visit to Istiqlal Mosque and the Catholic Cathedral Church of Our Lady of Assumption, we recognized and impressed two religious sites co-existed in harmony. Through this experience in Jakarta, we have witnessed how Indonesia is a good example of how various religions can live together, respect each other, and work towards peace.
Experienced & Analyzed Fieldwork
We, youth delegates, experienced and researched in the local community of GEMASUCI (Gerakan Masyarakat Suka Ciliwung, “Peduli Ciliwung”, along with Ciliwung River in Jakarta. This allowed us to discuss and analyze our research and interview from local people in the community. We identified the causes and issues of Climate Change, such as air pollution, green house effect, irresponsible waste disposal in rivers and waters, and human over-consumption.
Based on our common understanding, we commit to the following activities:
- To raise awareness on Climate Change to hold seminar and to show eco-friendly video through social media.
- To recycle plastic bags and bottles, reuse cups and reduce trash.
- To save energy while using public transportation and minimum use of water and electricity.
- To tackle global warming by planting tree.
- To remain connected through various social media platforms so we may continue to work together with the purpose to sustain our common actions that we commit to do.
We, the participants of RfP Asia Interfaith Youth Peace Camp 2017, would like to express our sincere gratitude to our hosts in Jakarta. We affirm, as religious youth leaders across Asia and the Pacific, that we have been strengthened by the bond of friendship amidst the diversity of faiths, traditions, and cultures.
We also would like to express our sincerest condolences and prayers to our host, Muhammadiyah, during this time of grief as they mourn the death of A.M Fatwa, a senior member of Muhammadiyah.