SURABAYA – UINSA’s Center for the Study of Religion and Peace (PSAP) successfully brought together interfaith youth in the Gebyar Tolerance 2023 program. The program is a collaboration between State Islamic University (UIN) Sunan Ampel Surabaya with the Ministry of Religious Affairs (Kemenag) was held on October 8-9, 2023 in Surabaya.

The program titled “Youth Interfaith Workshop and Field Trip” was scheduled for two days. The first day’s agenda focused on the introduction of participants, presentation of materials and Focus Group Discussion (FGD). In contrast, the second day focused on field trips to houses of worship. Indonesian Christian Church (GKI) Diponegoro as a representative of Christianity. Protestantism, Parish Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Kelsapa) Surabaya as the representative of Catholic Christianity, Sunan Ampel Mosque and Tomb as representative of Islam, and Surabaya Segara Kenjeran Temple as representative of Hinduism. These four houses of worship were chosen as field trip destinations on the second day. “Actually, we wanted to go to 6 destinations religious houses of worship recognized by the State. However, due to time constraints and licensing, so only these four locations that we can visit as a means of learning.” said Lia Hilyatul M., M.A. as the organizing committee of this activity.

On the first day, the participants were gathered in the Hall of the Faculty of Ushuluddin and Philosophy UIN. Sunan Ampel Surabaya. “Forums like this let’s use it well as a means to break the compartmentalization of each religious identity. Make it a place to get to know each other and understand other beliefs. With this, we are expected to be able to protect each other from protect each other from religious slanders that become eco-chamber in society,” said Dr. Akhmad Siddiq, M.A. as the Head of UINSA Religious Studies Study Program as well as opening the event officially.

As many as 30 youths representing Islam, Christianity, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Sapta Dharma and even Ahmadiyya and Shia attended this activity. They gathered and discuss the concept of peace. This program was directly mentored by Muhammad Afdillah, M.A. as Director of PSAP UINSA with a variety of materials presented as a lighter. Interfaith Dialogue and Dialogue Zone as a breaker of prejudice and stereotypes became the initial introduction to the discussion on the first day. The material was adapted from the KAICIID (King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue) module. The discussion was even more heated when each participant was required to make questions with assumptions and turn them into standardized questions without assumptions. This is a preventive measure so that participants do not present questions that offend or hurt certain parties.

“We are Different, We are Together” is the spirit of recognizing and respecting each other. The sentence is written on the t-shirt given by the committee as the opening of the second day. Participants gathered at UIN Sunan Ampel Surabaya and continued their journey to several houses of worship that had been determined by the committee. The trip was very exciting with very friendly welcome from each house of worship. From various backgrounds and understanding, it turned out that there were still many participants who felt for the first time entering the houses of worship of other religions. “It turned out to be cool and not like what people said,” said Hiro. which was his first experience.

A unique thing happened during a visit to Surabaya’s Segara Kenjeran Temple. As the last destination,
then all participants closed the activity by praying together in Hinduism. “We have a
custom if an event like this will be closed with a religious prayer from the last place of worship we visited.
the last place of worship we visited. But this does not force participants who are not comfortable,” said
Muhammad Afdillah, as Mr. Sudjana, who received the group at Segara Temple, taught the Hindu way of praying. All participants followed solemnly. (M. Ridwan Hidayat – Student of Religious Studies Study Program)