For most Indonesian citizens, Muslims and Christians alike, religion plays an important role in private and public life. Against the backdrop of tacit and overt conflicts between religious groups in Indonesia, this study examines the potential role of religion in building trust between people. To what extent does religion induce or reduce trust between Muslims and Christians? While religious communities are important socialising agencies for moral principles that may encourage trust, religious identification may also be related to distrust towards others; making `trust' a problematic issue in the context of interreligious relations. This study describes how trust is determined by religion (in both positive and negative ways), and how it can be seen as a crucial concept within the religious meaning system.
Handi Hadiwitanto is a lecturer in Practical Theology at the Duta Wacana Christian University, Yogyakarta (Indonesia).