DIVERSITY BHINEKA IS A BLESSING
Despite Indonesia being the country with the largest Muslim population in the world, it is home to people with many different types of background. We have around 714 people groups, which include thousands of indigenous communities spread over more than 17 thousand islands. Besides being known for its ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversity, Indonesia is also considered unique because it upholds teachings of Islam which are moderate, peaceful, and tolerant towards the rights of minorities. It is upheld in the Indonesian state philosophy, known as Pancasila.
On the other hand, Indonesia also faces various challenges. We still witness the presence of groups using differences in religions, ethnicities, and people groups as reasons to trigger discrimination, conflicts, and violence. According to a survey conducted by Wahid Foundation and LSI (Indonesian Survey Institute) in 2016, the level of radicalism and intolerance has increased in Indonesia. The survey indicates that 38.4% of Muslims in the country are not willing to be tolerant of other religious groups.
Therefore, a harmonious and peaceful life amongst Indonesia’s diverse peoples must be cultivated and nurtured. Since 2013, Wahid Foundation has been in partnership with different stakeholders and various organizations such as ICCO, The Body Shop and Finland Embassy, to foster the values of tolerance and peace in Indonesia. In 2017, in partnership with UN Women, a program entitled "Women Participation for Inclusive Society" or abbreviated as WISE was launched to emphasize women’s role in promoting peaceful and resilient communities to cultivate peace. The program develops the concept of "Peace Villages" as an approach to engage main stakeholders in the village as a whole.