Idul Fitri is the biggest annual celebration that drives the largest movement of people in Indonesia. Preceded by mudik, an exodus in the last week of Ramadhan, Idul Fitri prayers and sermons will have the largest number of attendees, much bigger than the weekly Friday prayers.
Masjid Jamik Malang was so full of worshippers that the Eid sermon had to be held in the yard of the Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart (Gereja Hati Kudus Yesus) and in the city square.
According to church staff, helping out with Eid prayers was an annual tradition. To cater to it, the church’s morning mass was postponed from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Members of the church’s Young Catholic organization also distributed bottled water and paper to those who did not bring prayer rugs.
Moch Affandi, the mosque’s secretary, said it always coordinated with the church as well as the Protestant Church of Immanuel.
“The mosque has operated since 1903 and we never had any conflict with the churches,” he added.
One of the congregants praying in the church yard, Devi Amatanti, 34, said she was grateful that the church opened its doors to another faith.
“[When I arrived at the mosque] I did not find any space to pray. However, the church staff offered their yard to us. They even gave us free paper to use as replacements for prayer rugs. I’m happy to see tolerance and religious harmony in Malang,” she added.