The International Day of Human Fraternity (4 February) has been commemorated by the Indonesian Branch of the Muslim Council of Elders with a number of events and seminars. The day falls on the anniversary of His Holiness Pope Francis, Pontiff of the Catholic Church, and His Eminence Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders, co-signing the Document on Human Fraternity in Abu Dhabi in 2019.
The Muslim Council of Elders’ branch in Indonesia also prepared the Friday sermon text and its theme, “The Concept of Human Fraternity,” in collaboration with the Indonesian Ministry of Religious Affairs. On February 3, 2023, the sermon was distributed to Indonesian mosques, including the Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta (the largest mosque in Southeast Asia), and it was broadcast on numerous channels. The Human Fraternity Document was also printed and distributed at other prominent mosques, notably the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in the city of Solo.
Several religious leaders took part in a symposium that was hosted at Atma Jaya Catholic University in Jakarta, the nation’s capital. It was highlighted during this time that genuine fraternity helps to encourage teamwork to solve human problems. In the presence of Bishop Romo Agustinus Heri Wibowo, a representative of the Catholic Church, Mr. Ole-Visual Abdullah, a representative of the Nahdlatul Ulama Association, Mr. Bhiko Dama Subo Mahathira, a representative of the Buddhist community, and Mr. Ghazali, a representative of the Muhammadiyah Association, participants in the symposium signed a joint declaration based on the principles of the Document on Human Fraternity in preparation for its submission to the Indonesian Parliament.
At a scientific symposium that the Indonesian Branch of the Muslim Council of Elders hosted at the Hindu University of Bangli on the island of Bali, participants thanked His Eminence the Grand Imam and His Holiness Pope Francis for their work to advance interfaith harmony and combat hate speech, intolerance, and discrimination. They also referenced to the Fourth of February being designated as the International Day of Human Fraternity by the UN, which reflects the wish of all peoples to live in peace and security throughout the world. A united statement was signed by all of the participating religious leaders at the symposium’s conclusion.
The Human Fraternity Document, according to Dr. Muzafir, president of the Islamic University of Surakarta, is a historical and inspirational document for many global leaders. He continued by stating that the symposium’s significant attendance from many tribes and religious backgrounds is proof of their dedication to the principles of human fraternity. Participants signed an unified declaration at the end of the symposium with the goal of preventing conflict and bloodshed in all of its manifestations and encouraging harmony and goodwill among believers in other religions in order to bring about world peace.
The Interreligious Council (IRC-Indonesia), the Center for Dialogue and Cooperation Among Civilizations (CDCC), the Nahdlatul Ulama Association, the Muhammadiyah Association and approximately 1000 religious, political, and academic figures from Indonesia are all expected to attend a symposium that will be held at the parliament building in Jakarta in honor of the International Day of Human Fraternity. The presidents of the two main Islamic organizations (Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah), the presidents of each of Indonesia’s eight religious councils, and the president of the People’s Consultative Assembly of Indonesia are all slated to speak.
These events, which were arranged by the Indonesian Branch of the Muslim Council of Elders in collaboration with academic, religious, legislative, and executive institutions in Indonesia, attracted a lot of attention and were notably covered by the most significant media outlets in the country, including the official news agency and numerous prominent newspapers and television channels.