Conflict is not a new experience within inter-religious relationship in our world. Throughout the history of humanity we have seen and experienced how religions play a vital role, explicitly or implicitly, in many international conflicts in various parts of the world. Such conflict often emerges from a particular interpretation of holy texts: people claim that the texts are revealed by God and, thus, unquestionably contain authoritative truth. Some religions explicitly legitimize their existence by referring to a ‘revelation’. As Van de Beek wrote,
‘If a religion confesses that God is known by revelation, then such a religion is to a high extent open for contesting … if God reveals Himself, then He posits Himself into your life. Faith is not based on a reasonable conclusion, but is related to the Person, who calls on you.’
It probably triggers and increases the rage that occurs from conflict and combines with other factors such as politics, economic situations, cultural identity, and territorial boundaries.
The twenty-first century has brought new challenges to humankind. The attacks of
However we knew from other events that religion can shift from a belief system into an ideology where religion is used as a dreadful weapon to strike hard at and to destroy others. Now I invite you to turn the focus to Maluku archipelago in
Muslim-Christian Bloodbath: An Overview from Christian Perspective
It is impossible to describe the conflict in Maluku, either politically or sociologically, in this paper. I am convinced that you have the commonsense and critical scrutiny for the further disposition of this. The conflict that has persisted for approximately four years scored a black note in our nation’s history of religion and widely broke down the construction of civil society in
So far, I believe that the churches in Maluku have performed their particular theological tasks by preaching the bible and offering Christian education. But challenges and limits still occur, mainly in contextualization of the Bible’s kerygma in the particular cultural context of indigenous people in Maluku. Historically, long periods of colonialism in Maluku’s archipelago showed that colonial policies, including Christian missions, eliminated cultural patterns or the customary laws that were based on native worldviews and arranged socio-cosmic interrelationships. The colonializer replaced these standing patterns and laws with the values that were strange to the indigenous people and did not allow the native people to either approve or deny the new values. With this colonialization there has been a combining manifold of values. Particularly, ‘violence values’ from both cultures have combined and dominated our theological mindset. Colonialism and Christianity paired and provided superiority, triumphalistic values that exploited our natural sources. Local culture formed a tribal mentality and diminished other communities through opposition based on tradition. For those of us who grew up in it, this theology legitimized our actions of underestimating or terminating others who were not in our in-group. As Dieter Bartels, an anthropologist who titled his paper, ‘Your God is No Longer Mine,’ says that it is true that Maluku’s people have been alienating each other and are segregated by various interests. I suppose this includes religion’s incompetence in reconstructing a theological perspective within a pluralistic society such as
 This article was published in Dirk van Keulen and Martien E. Brinkman (eds.), Christian Faith and Violence 1. Studies in Reformed Theology. Uitgeverij Meinema – Zoetermeer 2005.
 A. van de Beek, ‘Living Theology. Core Themes of Systematic Theology’, Paper presented in Persetia Summer Course, 2003,
 See L.H. Subianto, ‘
 See J.L. Esposito, Unholy War: Terror in the name of Islam,
 For advanced discussion about the meaning of religion, see D.L. Pals, Seven Theories of Religion,
 See L.H. Subianto, ‘
 There are prominent books that represented several perspectives from different angles. Most of them in the Indonesian edition show how Indonesian people view these conflicts. For instance,
 For more a historical and theological analysis, see John Titaley, ‘The Pancasila of Indonesia. A Lost Ideal?’ in: E.A.J.G. Van der Borght, D. van Keulen and M.E. Brinkman (eds.), Faith and Ethnicity. Vol. 1, Zoetermeer 2002, 37-102.
 Culturally in the case of
 At the time, contextualization was an estrangement terminology in theological discourses despite what the missionaries had done through their missionary journeys in some of the regions of
 D. Bartels, ‘Your God is No Longer Mine. Moslem-Christian Fratricide in the Central Moluccas (Indonesia) after a Half-Millenium of Tolerant Coexistence and Ethnic Unity’ in: www.maluku.org.