Qur’an 15.19

“And the earth we have spread out like a carpet; set thereon mountains firm and immobile; and produced therein all kinds of things in due balance.”

In Indonesia, especially in its big cities, emerges a phenomenon which we can’t judge whether it is good or not and we called it the revivalism of religion. Since 80% of Indonesian’s religion is Islam, so, what I saw dominantly is the revivalism of Islam. But in fact, in my opinion, this phenomenon is not only appearing in Indonesia and Islam but also in around the world and of course in every religion too.

Islamic informal education or commonly called “pengajian” spread around every where in Indonesia. Some of us think that only old people who paid attention with this “pengajian”, but in fact, they who are attracted by this “pengajian” are mostly youth. They all have obedience to what the preacher said to them. And they all implement what the preacher said to them. At this point, there are no problems. This revivalism obviously is not negative phenomenon. We can interpret this phenomenon as evidence that religion is basically important in modern society and religion will always exist among society.

But deviations occur when religiosity interpreted by only from the political framework. Religion, that basically provides set of values and norms for the creation of harmony in plural society like Indonesia, becomes an identity and tool in gaining a power.

As a Muslim youth, I had already felt to be indoctrinated. And, none of the doctrines are related at how to maintain the environment, even though a lot of verses in Qur’an teach us about it. Instead, youth are indoctrinated to use religion as their identity and should implement their religion in conservative way. They should exhibit Islam as their identity. Thereby, in Indonesia, religions become the cause for majority of horizontal conflicts which can be rooted as identity conflict. Religions become catalyst for hatred among Indonesian. Therefore, Religions forget their most primary enemy, the deterioration of ecological environment.

The impact of this phenomenon for society is that; first, Most of the doctrines taught in “pengajian” are focusing on moral ethic. It is not bad to learn about moral ethic but it is imbalance if we are too overemphasizing in moral ethic. We are too busy to judging other personality, such how polite person ethically using clothes, and etc. But why there are no doctrines taught about “eco-moral” which gives us guidance to interact with nature morally (I’ve never heard about Islam for Environment Organization). I can guarantee that mostly preachers in Indonesia are always talking about moral ethics rather than eco-moral. We do concern too much about morality among people but we forget morality in interacting with ecology.

Secondly, it seems that when ecological disasters occur, each religion is always feeling distrustful to other religion. They think that beyond other’s aid; there are hidden agenda to convert the people from one to other religion. At the end, people neglect other’s aid because the religion difference within. Thus, it makes the cooperation among religions are very rare in Indonesia’s society.

If this mind set is still dominating our attitude toward the others, there will be two kinds of probability for our future; first, religion will be neglected because it can’t resolve environmental degradation; second, we will always see the conflict between religions which will lead humanity into vain. And I think the second one is the most possible than the first one for our own future.

My friends and I who concerned about the condition of environment and religion have created small group of university students (called Komunitas Alternatif) who care with the dialogue about the importance of religion-based environmental resolution. As coordinator, firstly, we try to gather university students to come together in one place to discuss openly about how we can revitalize religion values in order to make it as a tool for avoiding the lack of society responsibility on environment sustainability. We realize that religion doctrines are still affecting Indonesian behaviors.

By making environmental issues as the main issues on every religion-based movement (especially Student Movement), we can reduce level of ignorance of Indonesian society. And also, we can unify all religions to stand together in same side rather than fighting each other. Through its doctrines, religion could become the best way in educating society by explaining how important the issues of environmental degradation to mankind. Religion is the best thing in achieving the consciousness of its members.

In conclusion, then, I think that multiform religions must be based on a new realization that we have a common problem in today’s environmental problem and thus a collective future to overcome. How our children can perform their own religion’s rules if in the same time their environment is dying because we still arrogant toward each other.

There was a time where we live with the realization that nature emerges on the condition within the extraordinary interaction of human, ecology, and spiritual grounding and guidance. But in the modern era, humanity is challenged by the emerging of religion which paradoxically breaks this trinity because of the political interpretation of religion. How far we can sustain the future depends on how strong our vision toward the future. Religion is the most potential vision to save the earth, so why don’t we excavate this vision from religion before religion sink deeper in the deep sea of hatred. So what are we waiting for? Let us create this vision together!

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