Indonesia hosts AICIS, Religions Facing Global Challenges: Official

Jakarta (Antara) – Indonesia will host the 23rd Annual International Conference on Islamic Studies (AICIS) from February 1 to 4, highlighting the role of religions in helping people overcome humanitarian challenges, an official said Monday.

„This year's AICIS will be held to redefine the role of religions, especially Islam, in guiding humanity to face contemporary humanitarian challenges globally,” said Vibowo Prasetio, special staff member of the Minister of Religious Affairs.

He noted that the conference in Semarang, Central Java coincides with the International Day of Human Fraternity on February 4, established by the United Nations in 2020.

Prasetyo said the international day was named after the document on world peace and human brotherhood for living together signed on February 4, 2019 by the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Ahmad Al Tayeb and Pope Francis.

The Saeed Award for Human Brotherhood was established following the signing of this document with Indonesia's largest Islamic organizations, Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah.

Prasetyo said the 23rd AICIS will bring together international academics, researchers and religious figures to discuss various issues such as religion, nationalism, nationhood in Southeast Asia, human rights, gender and minority groups.

„The conference will touch on the role of religions in strengthening nationalism, ways to respond to justice and equality crises, gender issues, people's welfare and climate change,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Zainul Hamdi, Director of Islamic Universities at the Ministry of Religious Affairs, said that the program conducted by AICIS this year has been well received by the international community.

He said that the organizing committee has received a total of 1,957 academic papers from 11 countries including Afghanistan, Armenia, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Malaysia and Morocco.

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„This number creates a new record in AICIS,” he said.

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