Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia and Finland have agreed to promote global peace efforts through interfaith dialogues, according to the Indonesian Foreign Ministry.

The two countries reached the agreement during the 1st Indonesia-Finland Interfaith and Intermediate Dialogue (IFIID) held in Helsinki on Sept 17, the ministry said in a press statement released on Wednesday.

During the meeting, religious figures, intellectuals, and the media from the two countries agreed to strengthen cooperation in promoting global peace.

The 1st IFIID comprised several activities, with dialogue forum as its main activity. The delegates of the two countries also visited religious sites and gave a general lecture at Helsinki University.

Chief of the National Forum for Cooperation of Religions in Finland (CORE) Bishop Kaarlo Kalliala stated the 1st IFIID was held at the right time when Finland has, of late, seen interfaith-related incidents, which have the potential to disrupt social harmony.

"We hope we can share (experience with) and learn from Indonesia in managing pluralism," he noted.

Indonesian Ambassador Wiwiek Setyawati Firman stated that the dialogue is a very strategic platform to share experience and learn from one another in dealing with radicalism and extremism.

The Finnish delegation to the dialogue included Islamic figure Atik Ali, Jewish figure Yaron Nodbornik, and Christian representative Lutheran Rev. Elina Hellqvist.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian delegation included the Indonesian president`s special staff for international religious affairs Siti Ruhaini Dzuhayatin, Islamic academic Azyumardi Azra, Buddhist representative Philip K Wijaya, and Chief of the Indonesian Churches Association (PGI) Priest Gomar Gultom.

At the end of the dialogue, the Indonesian delegation offered scholarships to Finnish students wishing to study Islam at state Islamic university, attend Interfaith Youth Camp 2019, and visit a number of religious educational institutions in Indonesia under the program called Visit of Future Faith Leaders.

Interfaith dialogue has been the permanent feature of Indonesia`s soft power diplomacy since 2004.

Since then, Indonesia has held interfaith dialogues at bilateral, regional, and multilateral levels. On a bilateral basis, Indonesia has 30 interfaith dialogue partners, with Finland being its 30th interfaith dialogue partner.

Reported by Yuni Arisandy
Editing by Suharto

Reporter: Antara
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
Copyright © ANTARA 2018