Since the start of the third Millennium tensions have risen around the world, manipulating religion as source of political interest and conflict. The impact has been felt in Indonesia as well as in the Netherlands, where polarization has been growing in both countries ever since.
Responding to these alarming developments and driven by a shared history and vision of their respective countries, in 2010, Universitas Kristen Duta Wacana in Indonesia and Kerk in Actie in the Netherlands, established a Muslim-Christian network. This network would later be called the Netherlands-Indonesia Consortium for Muslim-Christian Relations (NICMCR). It is a network where exchange take place through methods of research, dialogue and partnership between Indonesian and Dutch, Muslim and Christian educational, faith-based and civil society institutions. The network strongly believes in the need for international, interreligious and intersectoral learning and partnering in order to provide sound counter-narratives and practices vis-à-vis polarizing, populistic and political approaches of religion. In doing so we deem it of importance to contribute to a balanced relation between states, religious communities and civil society.
Who we are
The Netherlands-Indonesia Consortium for Muslim-Christian Relations is a non-governmental network of universities and civil society organizations in the Netherlands and Indonesia, consisting of Muslim and Christian scholars, religious leaders and practitioners.
The Participants of the Consortium share the view that cross-national, cross-religious and cross-sectoral exchanges are needed to address the challenges faced by communities in the Netherlands and in Indonesia.
Society in both the Netherlands and Indonesia has been significantly shaped by Christianity and Islam, albeit in different ways. Therefore, understanding these religions, in all their positive and negative aspects and acknowledging their transformative impact on nature and mankind, is prerequisite for the development of a just, peaceful and sustainable future.
The shared history of Indonesia and the Netherlands offers a basis for a shared future, but not without taking into account both sides’ perspectives on that same history.
The Participants of the Consortium believe in a space for building relations and trust, ongoing dialogue and joint research on issues of common concern.
The Consortium intends to contribute to the enhancement of mutual understanding and common action among communities in Indonesia and the Netherlands by using and expanding resources that Participants share in terms of knowledge, experience, relations and funding.
The Participants of the Consortium aim to generate practice-oriented knowledge using dialogical methods.
The Participants’ Meeting is the highest body of the Consortium and consists of representatives of the Participants.
The Participants are those organizations or institutions who affirm their commitment to the Consortium by signing the ‘Declaration of Commitment’ and pay the Participants’ Fee.
The Participants’ Meeting can invite other organizations to join as Partner. It can also invite resource persons to become Partner as advisors in their professional capacity.
The Participants’ Meeting elects a Steering Committee in its Annual Meeting. The Steering Committee operates within the mandate as given by the The Participants’ Meeting.
The Steering Committee members are elected for a term of three years. Their number can vary, according to the decision made in the Annual Meeting.
The Participants’ Meeting mandates Working Groups or Pokja’s to develop the Consortium’s policy on actual issues in close collaboration with the Steering Committee.
How we work
At least once a year the Consortium takes responsibility for a public event and/or expert meeting.
The Participants’ Meeting meets every year and decides on the annual program of the Consortium.
The Steering Committee initiates projects in which a certain number of Participants cooperate. For each project, the Steering Committee appoints at least two Participants as project leaders.
Working groups or Pokja’s support the Steering Committee with the implementation of its policy on the following important thematic issues:
- Costly Tolerance / Inclusive Religious Education
- Gender and Religion
- Ecology and Religion.
Each Pokja evenly consists of members representing both countries, both religions and the different disciplines (academic, faith based, civil society). Within their members, Pokja’s elect coordinators, if possible one from Indonesia and one from the Netherlands. The Pokja’s report to the Steering Committee. For each of their respective projects, the coordinators concurrently act as project leaders.
Within a particular project, cooperation with non-Participants is possible. These non-Participants are called Partners of the Consortium.
Apart from the work of the Pokja’s the Consortium can adopt initiatives taken by one or more of its Participants at their request.
For each event, the project leaders decide which participating institution(s) will be responsible, in terms of content, planning and financing of the project.
The Consortium is willing to participate in initiatives taken by other parties, including governmental institutions, as far as it falls within its Vision and Mission, and provided that it does not impair the Consortium’s independent position.
In 2019, the Foundation NICMCR was established with a secretarial desk in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. With this legal body, the Consortium will have the liability to be more involved with international programs and international governmental and non-governmental bodies.
Names and websites of Participants will appear here after signing the Declaration of Commitment
Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies, http://icrs.ugm.ac.id/
Protestant Church in the Netherlands / Kerk in Actie, www.kerkinactie.nl
Protestant Theological University Amsterdam-Groningen, www.pthu.nl
Stichting Islam Kennis Centrum, islamkenniscentrum.nl
Nijmegen Institute for Mission Studies Radboud University, www.ru.nl/nim/
Institut Agama Islam Negeri (IAIN) Palangka Raya, www.iain-palangkaraya.ac.id/new/
Percik Institute Salatiga, www.percik.or.id
Center for Religious and Cross-cultural studies, Graduate School, Universitas Gadjah Mada, crcs.ugm.ac.id
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculty of Religion and Theology, www.godgeleerdheid.vu.nl/en/
Universitas Kristen Duta Wacana, www.ukdw.ac.id
Universitas Islam Negeri Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta, www.uin-suka.ac.id
Universitas Kristen Indonesia Maluku, ukim.ac.id
Nahdlatul Ulama Belanda, nubelanda.nl
The Eastern Indonesia Women’s Network for Religious, Culture and Women Studies
Prof. dr. Frans Wijsen
Head of Nijmegen Institute of Mission Studies
Director of Netherlands School for Advanced Studies in Theology and Religion
Dr. Phil. Sahiron Syamsuddin MA
Vice Rector II of Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University, Yogyakarta;
Chairperson of the Indonesian Association of Qur’anic Studies (AIAT).
Robert Setio Ph.D.
Dean Faculty of Theology, Duta Wacana Christian University, Yogyakarta
Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies, Yogyakarta
Drs. Corrie van der Ven
Program Officer for Kerk in Actie of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands
Zainal Abidin Bagir, Ph.D.
Director of Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies (ICRS), Yogyakarta
Faculty member of Center for Religious and Cross-cultural Studies (CRCS), Graduate School, Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM)
Coordinator for Indonesia
Maria Inggrid Nabubhoga, MA.
Coordinator for the Netherlands
Faculty of Philosophy, Theology & Religious Studies at the Radboud University, Nijmegen