ASIA/INDONESIA - Exterior spaces of the Cathedral of Jakarta made available to Muslim faithful for Id al Fitr

Tuesday, 20 June 2017 dialogue   religious minorities   collaboration   solidarity   islam   prayer  

Jakarta (Agenzia Fides) - Interreligious cooperation between Christians and Muslims is seen and appreciated especially during their respective religious holidays, which become a time for expressing closeness and solidarity: as Fides learns, with this spirit the Cathedral of Jakarta, named after Santa Maria Assunta, has decided to make available its external spaces to the Muslim faithful, since the 25th of June, the feast of Id al Fitr is celebrated, closes the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. In fact, the Great Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta, where hundreds of thousands of people will gather, is located right in front of the Catholic Cathedral. And Muslims who want to go to the mosque for morning prayer can park their motorcycles in the complex of the cathedral. This habit of mutual exchange and friendliness has been going on for thirty years: the mosque offers the same opportunity for Christian faithful at Christmas, Holy Week or other major events held in the Cathedral.
To cope with the event, which will involve a large part of the Muslim population of the capital, the Pastoral Council of the Cathedral has also decided to modify, only for Sunday 25 June, the planning of holy masses (only four on that Sunday) canceling the celebration of early morning mass, when a massive Muslim attendance is expected.
The decision will create some inconvenience for the faithful who are used to attending morning Mass at 6 am. Adriana Yeanne Kawuwung, parishioner of the Cathedral of Jakarta, says to Fides that "that time is for us the favorite moment to meet and talk to the Lord, for the Cathedral is not so full of faithful and the weather is not so hot" . But, she continues, "for once, as a sign of respect and support for our Muslim brothers who will use the parking of the cathedral, we will be able to choose another time or even another church. It is important to give an example and a tangible sign of religious harmony, friendship and tolerance in Indonesia at a time when there is growing intolerance in society". (PP-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 20/6/2016)