English Peace News April 2017 Edition

Salam Peace Shalom!

One of some reasons of religious intolerance is exclusivism. Many people do not differentiate between social/ political exclusivism and religious exclusivism. This is because in general those who hold religious exclusivism tend to be social/ political exclusivists. The idea of religious exclusivism is part of what so called theology of religion promoted by John Hick in twentieth century. There three views or conviction regarding relations among religions, especially regarding the truth claims and salvation: exclusivism, inclusivism, and pluralism. Exclusivism claims that a particular faith is the truth and the only way for salvation. While pluralism believes that all faiths are equally true and will bring salvation. Some people are confused to use religious pluralism when actually they mean “pluralistic” or “plurality”.

Miroslav Volf in his latest book Flourishing: Why We Need Religion in a Globalized World (2015) offers a thesis that religious exclusivists are the key for religious peacebuilding in this globalized world. Because the number of religious exclusivist are growing significantly, and the fact most of religious conflict, intolerance, and violence are done in the name of religion by the religious exclusivist. Religious exclusivism tend to manifest in social/ political exclusivism. Nevertheless, Volf also believes that religious exclusivism should be compatible with social/ political pluralism, which manifest in toleration, respect, and religious freedom, including freedom of spread religion.

Volf summarizes his argument on political pluralism in four points:

  • Because there is one God, all people are related to that one God on equal terms.
  • The central command of that one God is to love neighbors – to treat others as we would like them to treat us, as expressed in the Golden Rule.
  • We cannot claim any rights for ourselves and our group that we are not willing to give to others.
  • Whether as a stance of the heart or as outward practice, religion cannot be coerced.


YIPC in its movement respect all kind of religious views. Those who hold religious exclusivism are also “safe” and respected equally with those who believes in religious inclusivism and pluralism. YIPC facilitates those who hold religious exclusivism to be compatible and practice social pluralism not social exclusivism. Therefore in YIPC all of religious convictions can live together peacefully, respect each other as they want to be respected as Golden Rule teach, and put love as the basis of every interaction, as promoted through “A Common Word”. As a community that respect religious exclusivism, YIPC always promote social pluralism. YIPC can be one model that can be offered to the world in religious peacemaking. We hope more religious exclusivist can join YIPC and use YIPC as a means to learn to celebrate and respect the diversity in peace. Please pray for the regional Student Interfaith Peace Camp in 4 cities in Indonesia (Medan, Bandung, Jogja, and Surabaya) next month. Salam Peace Shalom!

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