Monday, 21 September 2009

Praying for Peace

Today is the International Day of Peace. Since 2001, the United Nations General Assembly declaring September 21 as the International Day of Peace.

In the explanation of this event, in Bloggers Unite website, the goal is described as: "To encourage the observation of a worldwide, grassroots 24-hour vigil for peace and nonviolence on the International Day of Peace, 21 September, in every house of worship and place of spiritual practice, by all religious and spiritually based groups and individuals, and by all men, women, and children who seek peace in the world."

I went to the church this morning. It came out of personal need actually, but then I was also praying for peace and nonviolence actions on earth. Is it possible? I think if we try hard enough, we'll have it. God needs human being to work it out. Human being were entrusted by God to manage the Earth...and we failed Him! Greediness and self-centered needs has made us working on the destruction of earth. We destroy our mother earth by acting violence approaches to get on our own way, to the victory of our own community or group.

Religions were perhaps a way discovered by human being in their quest to find the Almighty, the Creator. Yet, we are now torn away because of religious differences.

As I've stated in a discussion in Bloggers Unite discussion room, prejudice (which probably came out of generalization of individual/groups' acts) is the root of the problem. This way, being different is not always OK. People would have prejudice to others, and its grade would be depending on how we view those differences...

Being a Catholic in Indonesia means being a minority (group) of religion here. We experienced the difficulties to build a church, or sometimes problems in gathering for praying. Yet, my friend who was blessed with an experience living abroad told me how being Moslem in Bavaria would give another perspective, as Moslem was (or still is) minority in that environment. I think we've got enough stories about Moslems who were being treated unfair because of their religions in some part of the world. So, it's not about religions, it's about who is leading as a majority group. If you are the majority, or you are the one in power, would you be fair to others who are different from you?

How would you feel when you are in the church for praying, then a bomb exploded? It happened in Jakarta, 2001 (St. Anna Church). Yet, in the long list of bombing target in Indonesia, the Jakarta Post (in an article titled "Terrorist attacks: The positive outcomes") had noted that the Istiqlal mosque was the first (1999) target (Yet, it wasn't in the list provided by the Newsletter from Media and Security Sector Reform with a list started from the year 2000). The long list (from Jakarta Post) consists of mostly curches, but we should avoid seeing this as a tool to justify prejudice conclusion. The Jakarta Post stated that
Muslims, making up more than 85 percent of Indonesia's 210 people, are mostly moderate. But hard-liners, who are a mere minority, have often tarnished the image of Islam for their ""street politics"" perpetrated through rampant violence across the country in tackling socio-religious issues, which at the same time receive large coverage from national and international media.

I would love to have a chance to go to the Istiqlal Mosque last Sunday to take a picture to show the world that those bombings were only made to tear up Indonesia as a nation. It wasn't about religion, but it was more into politic! Those involved in bombings seeks for power, not for showing the greatness of their religion. Last Sunday, there was a Catholic routine Sunday mass in the Cathedral while in front of the Cathedral the morning prayer of Eid ul-Fitr was also taken place to thank the Lord for His blessings throughout their fasting in the Ramadan month. There would surely be a lot of traffic jam after the prayer, but I'm sure that the air was filled with the Greatness of the Lord, when peace surrounded those who visited Him in prayers.

I believe that all religions teaches human kind only to be a better human. Love and peace are always the essence of a religion. Which one suited your heart would bring you closer to your Creator, as He is also the source of peace. Yet, He needs human beings to keep the peace in the world. Violence approach is not His way to show His Greatness, as His Greatness could only be felt in the presence of peace and love...

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