IRC Brings Christian and Muslim Youth Together in Maluku, Indonesia
Over 400 Muslim and Christian young people from a dozen villages were recently brought together to play volleyball, football and tug-of-war. The Piru Youth Center, a CARDI partner, organized the event, which also involved young people cleaning and painting mosques and churches.
“This kind of initiative is a first step to reintegrating religious communities that have been torn by conflict,” said Sedercor Melatunan, CARDI’s program manager in Maluku. “It is important that people interact so that they can overcome their differences.”
Religious fighting between Muslims and Christians in South Maluku has left thousands dead and forced thousands more from their homes. Despite a 2002 peace agreement, many communities remain segregated along religious lines.
CARDI is running a similar program in Central Sulawesi, another province struggling to overcome violent communal conflict. “Our strategy is to establish and support youth groups that strengthen ties between Muslim and Christian youth,” Sedercor Melatunan said. “We hope this will lessen the danger of future conflict.”