Religious leaders must stress inter-religious community relations: Kurup

KOTA KINABALU: Religious leaders in the country must stress the fundamental teachings of the importance of inter-religious community relations to ensure that Malaysia remains peaceful and harmonious, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup.

He said a study jointly conducted by the Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (IKIM), the National Unity and Integration Department (JPNIN) and Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) found that inter-religious relations in Malaysia was relatively good.

"However, the inter-religious ties in Malaysia can be affected by certain issues which have been manipulated and provoked by certain parties.

"As such, the role of the religious leaders is very important because they have the authority to give their views based on religion," he said when opening an Inter-Religious Dialogue at Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), near here today.

Commenting further, Kurup said religious leaders have the authority to clear up any confusion between people of different religions in the country and maintain peace and harmony in the country.

On the event today, Kurup said it was aimed at promoting the message of tolerance, unity and cooperation between people of different religious beliefs.