By: Fr. Gregorius Dedimus Luan
A month ago Father Matteo and I were talking seriously about the relationship between Muslim and Christians, and the dialogue we have ev- ery month in our community. He told me that the fact is that we, Christians hate Muslims. That’s why we are reluctant to meet them. I found that what makes us hate Muslims is that we often experience oppression by them.
Christians are the minority here in Indonesia. As a minority, we often experience injustice. Whether they destroy a church or banned us of building it to worship God and even worse. Before this, what should we do? Hate them or act as nothing happened? Or should we love them? It is hard to love them. For us we tend to say that we hate them and want to take revenge. As Christians, however, we must love them. I think that that is in fact the case. It is hard to love those people who mistreat us.
In the gospel we will find that to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind is the first and most important commandment for us, Christians. The second most important commandment for us is: love others as much as we love ourselves ( See Matt, 22: 38-39). What should we do to make real the first commandment? The only way to make real this commandment is by loving others. The word ‘others’ here does not mean only our fellow Christians or those people who do good to us. Love in this sense means love everybody, every human being in this world. By doing that we imitate our Father in heaven, who always loves every human being.
What would we do to prove that we love our Muslim brothers and sisters? The simple way is to meet them. If we say that we love some body, then we would do anything to meet the beloved one. Love begins when we meet each other. So, this is the right time to come out and meet the Muslims. It is time to break the barrier and make a good relationship with Muslims.