3 November 2023
UNESCO and Gusdurian Network Indonesia(GNI) held a training for religious leaders on promoting peacebuilding narratives online for peaceful 2024 elections in Indonesia.
On 20-22 October 2023, UNESCO, in collaboration with the GNI, held an advanced four-day training for 20 religious leaders. The event brought together digital media practitioners and senior religious leaders, who are involved in their communities as lecturers, directors of religious schools, and represent different religions and areas in Indonesia, including North Maluku, South Sulawesi, East Kalimantan, East and West Java.
Participants were trained on how to identify mis/disinformation and hate speech, enhance digital security, engage in strategic communications and advocacy for peace. The workshop included fundamental theory on freedom of expression standards as well as practical team exercises.
The event opened a space to exchange experiences and create a network for future collaboration in promoting peace and intercultural dialogue.
Training Religious Leaders in Indonesia
"The provided materials were very useful to better understand freedom of expression standards online. It inspired me to organize a forum for the Christian Youth Group in South Sulawesi, to raise awareness of the issues and support initiatives that contribute to building peace online. "
- Ms Erny Tonapa, a priest from South Sulawesi -
"The training program was essential. Aside from supporting my work as a social activist, social media has become a strategic space to campaign for peaceful messages, especially ahead of the 2024 political year. "
- Mr Suaib, the GUSDURian Regional Coordinator for Sulawesi, Maluku, and Papua, who lives in Makassar, South Sulawesi -
Indah Trianingsih, a faith leader from Lembaga Naluri Budaya Leluhur (Ancestral Cultural Intuition Institute), joined the training because she wanted to gain a deeper understanding of the issues related to disinformation, hate speech, content moderation and governance.
"After this training, I will share my experience with my community, as I gained a deeper understanding of the ins and outs of the digital world, to ensure that our faith community members support a peaceful election campaign."
- Ms Indah Trianingsih, a participant from Lembaga Naluri Budaya Leluhur (Ancestral Cultural Intuition Institute) -
Moving forward, the event will be followed by three more trainings, targeting 60 young and aspiring religious leaders in Yogyakarta, Cirebon (West Java) and Manado (North Sulawesi),areas that have been deemed as prone to conflict in the context of elections. The events will culminate in a large-scale hybrid festival towards the end of 2023.
The series of trainings are part of the UNESCO Social Media 4 Peace project, funded by the European Union. This project aims strengthen the resilience of societies to potentially harmful content online, in particular hate speech and disinformation, while protecting freedom of expression and promoting peace through digital technologies.