ICRS Reinvigorates Its Religious Literacy Program

5 July 2023

Between 2017 and 2020, ICRS implemented a Religious Literacy for Social Justice, Harmony and Multiculturalism”. The program was supported by the British Council and Embassy, and was in collaboration with Indonesia’s Ministry of Religious Affairs. At the time, the program trained around one thousand religious extension officers, teachers and civil society actors in 11 cities.

The program produced a module, which was officially received by the Ministry in early 2020, just before the shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The module contained four segments, which include: “Religion and the State”; “Religion and the Internet”; “Religion and Human Dignity”; and “Religion and Ecology”.

For the next phase (2023-2025), the Religious Literacy program will further expand the benefits to include more religious extension officers, religion teachers and members of ‘strategic groups’ in society. The program is supported by the newly established Indonesian Institute for Academic Partnerships (IIAP), based in Goshen College in Indiana, United States of America.

The program will cover new cities and districts, and add on to the existing module to incorporate two new segments i.e. “Religion and Peacebuilding” and “Religion and Human Rights”. The ICRS Religious Literacy Team (Dr. Dicky Sofjan, Dr. Leonard C. Epafras and Ida Fitri Astuti) has conducted scoping missions to Bali, Kupang in East Nusa Tenggara, Manado and Bolaang Mongondow in North Sulawesi.

In the fields, the Team discussed plans with various stakeholders from the local offices of line Ministries, religious leaders from the Hindu, Christian, Muslim leaders, FKUB (inter-religious fora) and civil society organizations. More scoping missions to Java, South Sulawesi, Moluccas, Kalimantan and Sumatra will be conducted in the next few months to come.

Furthermore, a content development workshop will be held to draft the new segments of the module. Meanwhile, preparations are also underway to hold a Training of Trainers (ToT) that is expected to be done before the end of 2023.