Muslims and Catholics helping each other out in Indonesia


In a country where the news is often about incidents of religious intolerance, Muslims and Catholics have been coming to each other’s aid.

Last Sunday over 3,500 people joined a charity run organized by Indonesia’s Jakarta Archdiocese to raise money to build churches in various parts of the country.

Most were Catholics but Muslims also took part.

Sister Vincensa of the Followers of Jesus joined the 2.5km charity walk with several other sisters from her parish.

She was impressed by how well organised the event was, especially the way it drew people together from different faiths.

“It was really outstanding, not just Catholics but non-Catholics too. We can really feel the spirit of ‘unity in diversity’,” she told

At the same time, Catholic groups have collected and are distributing aid for thousands of mainly Mulsim people affected by a deadly earthquake that struck Lombok, Indonesia’s popular tourist island.

“Catholic schools have collected tents, and my parishioners have collected rice and instant noodles,” Father Laurensius Maryono of St Mary Immaculate Parish in Mataram, the provincial capital, told

“St Anthony Catholic Hospital has sent teams of medical workers to serve those affected by the quake in Sembalun sub-district, the worst-hit area,” he said.

The parish’s emergency response team went to the district on 31 July — along with teams from the Diocese of Denpasar and the Mataram chapter of the Union of Catholic University Students of the Republic of Indonesia.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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