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Religions urged to rise up and combat terrorism


(RNS) The president of Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, has called on the world's religions to fight terrorism and be a force for peace rather than conflict.

"We should rise and demonstrate that religion is a force for peace," President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono told the two-day International Dialogue on Interfaith Cooperation Dec. 6-7 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

"To my mind, terrorism today must be regarded as the enemy of all religions," he added.

The conference brought together more than 100 religious leaders representing 10 faiths. They came from Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, East Timor and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

On Dec. 5, as the Indonesia conference was about to begin, the Thai air force dropped some 120 million origami "peace cranes" in the Muslim-dominated southern part of country as a peace gesture. But the gesture was met with more violence, including two bombings.