Among the religious violence and discrimination that this country often experiences, the people of Malang, East Java prove that religious appreciation is still possible. On Idul Fitri, The Kayutangan Catholic Church in Malang welcomed the Muslim citizens in the area to pray at the church’s courtyard.
Photographs of people praying in the courtyard went viral on the Internet and the church has been receiving a lot of praise all over social networks.
This is wonderful to hear and shouldn’t be an amazing news because circumstances like this should happen everywhere and as often as possible.
In Malang, this is nothing new; the Christians have been lending the churches to the Muslims for Idul Fitri for years. Even during Christmas, the Muslims help their counterparts with ensuring security in the churches.
If religious differences are not a problem in Malang, why should it be an issue in other places in Indonesia? I guess the extremists who think they are the most righteous, the holiest, the most religious should learn a lot from the people in this city. We can all live together despite our differences.
Malang is a city located 90 kilometers south of the capital city of East Java, Surabaya. This city is also well known for its diverse cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds. There are Muslims, Christians, Catholics, Buddhists, Hindus and even the Kong Hu Cus.
You can find so many Islamic boarding schools there, but at the same time, there are also many Hindu temples scattered around the area. Malang is also a big center for Christian religious education.
The last time I went to Malang, which wasn’t so long ago, I visited a place where they perform Wayang Potehi, or Chinese Puppets, and the place is well maintained and is still regularly attended by both the Indonesian Chinese and the Javanese.
The city of Malang has shown that hope is still here and we can educate other people about religious tolerance and appreciation. If this can happen in Malang, it can happen in Jakarta, Sumatra, Banten, basically everywhere throughout the archipelago.
Churches, mosques, temples, monasteries, synagogues are all houses of God. We have different ways, different rituals to pray to God, but we all pray to the same God.