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  • Indonesia’s Public Diplomacy: Interfaith Meetings in the Netherlands

    Frans Wijsen

    Chapter from the book: Dokman F. & Kankindi A. 2023. Beyond the Spirit of Bandung: Philosophies of National Unity: Secular or Religious?.


    This chapter addresses the question of what policy-makers in the Netherlands and Indonesia can learn from each other in safeguarding national unity. It analyses the Public Diplomacy program of the Indonesian government and bilateral Netherlands–Indonesia interfaith dialogues from the perspective of secularism and religion–state relationships. It uses public–private partnership between the Indonesian embassy in the Netherlands and two non-governmental organizations, namely the Netherlands–Indonesia Consortium for Muslim-Christian Relations and the Special Branch of Nadhlatul Ulama in the Netherlands, as cases. The chapter concludes that the governments and policy-makers in both countries advocate neutral engagement with religions, but that they not always practice what they preach. In the Netherlands the freedom to have a religion is under pressure. In Indonesia the rights of religious minorities and the right to be without religion is under pressure. The chapter concludes that what policy-makers in both countries can learn from each other is to balance extremes.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Wijsen, F. 2023. Indonesia’s Public Diplomacy: Interfaith Meetings in the Netherlands. In: Dokman F. & Kankindi A (eds.), Beyond the Spirit of Bandung. Nijmegen: Radboud University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.54195/FLRI3273_CH02

    This chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial + NoDerivatives 4.0 license. Copyright is retained by the author(s)

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    Additional Information

    Published on Nov. 30, 2023


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