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Petungsewu Wildlife Education Center/ P-WEC, one of ProFauna’s field projects, holds quarterly discussions to engage ProFauna’s members and the public to become actively involved in helping ProFauna save wildlife in Indonesia. On the 13th of September, ProFauna held the third discussion in 2008, and invited three religious leaders (Islam, Buddhist, and Christian) as keynote speakers, together with the organization’s chairman, Rosek Nursahid.
In his speech, Rosek Nursahid conveyed to nearly 100 attendees that all religions in Indonesia have some verses in their holy scriptures mentioning humans’ responsibility to take care of animals and give attention to their welfare. Unfortunately, animal topics are rarely discussed in religious forums in Indonesia. For this reason, the discussion was initiated to increase the awareness of religious followers regarding animal welfare.
The Islam, Buddhist, and Christian leaders agreed with ProFauna’s chairman and confirmed that each of their religions teach them to take care of all living creatures.
For example; in Islam, there is a shadith about a sinful woman who was traveling and saw a well. She got a drink but then saw a thirsty dog who couldn't get to the water. She climbed down into the well, filled up her leather sack with water, climbed out with water for the dog. For that, Allah forgave her sins.
According to Buddhist teachings on rebirth, you can be born as one of the animals in your next birth or reincarnation. One of those animals may be your dead mother, father or a loved one. Animals feel pain and do not wish to be harmed.
The Christian priest said that our task is to reflect the divine care and value God places upon even the smallest of creations, as well as upon human life.
There are many more religious statements which were not quoted about animal welfare that need further study by the participants.
The participants of the discussion were excited to know the new perspective from their religions on animal welfare because for most of them animal welfare has only been taught from ecological perspectives. ProFauna also believes that approaching religious leaders to spread information on animal welfare to their followers will be its campaigns focus in the hope of increasing public awareness.
ProFauna Indonesia recently launched its newest campaign, "Last Killing," urging the government of Sumatra to curb and stop the illegal wildlife trade.
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